20 Adidas Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at adidas.

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Adidas is one of the world’s leading sportswear brands, so it’s no surprise that they would have their own unique set of interview questions for candidates. If you’re interviewing for a job at adidas, you can expect to be asked about your experience with customer service, your knowledge of the company and its products, and your ability to work in a fast-paced environment.

To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of sample adidas interview questions and answers that you can use to practice your responses. With a little preparation, you’ll be able to confidently answer any question that comes your way during the interview.

Adidas Interview Process

The interview process at adidas can vary depending on the position you are applying for. For entry-level positions, like Sales Associate or Cashier, the interview process is usually pretty simple. You will likely be asked general questions about your experience and why you want to work for adidas. For more senior positions, like Senior Brand Manager, the interview process may be more detailed. You may be asked to prepare a business case to present to a line manager, and questions may be tougher and more detailed. Overall, the interview process at adidas is generally positive, with candidates reporting that they felt comfortable during their interviews.

  • What are your favorite adidas products and why?
  • If you were to create a new shoe, what would it look like and what features would it have?
  • Why do you want to work at adidas?
  • How often do you wear athletic clothing?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an irate customer.
  • Do you consider yourself to be a team player?
  • Provide an example of a time when you helped resolve a dispute between members on your team.
  • Have you ever worked in a fast-paced retail environment before?
  • Describe your experience working with customers.
  • How well do you work under pressure?
  • Which shift are you available to work?
  • How would you handle a situation where the store is running low on inventory for one of our most popular items?
  • If a customer was being rude or disrespectful towards other members of your team, how would you respond?
  • Would you describe yourself as more of a leader or follower?
  • Have you ever implemented any innovative strategies that helped improve sales?
  • Are you comfortable working around potentially dangerous machinery?
  • How long do you think you will remain at this company if hired?
  • We want our employees to always stay up to date on the latest trends. How do you usually keep up with current events?
  • When was the last time you took initiative without being asked to?
  • In terms of leadership style, which type do you identify with the most?

1. What are your favorite adidas products and why?

This question is a great way to show your passion for the brand. It also gives you an opportunity to share some of your knowledge about adidas products and what makes them so special. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a few different types of products that you like. This will help the interviewer get a better idea of your interests and personality.

Example: “I love all kinds of adidas shoes, but my favorite are the Ultra Boosts because they’re so comfortable. I also really enjoy the adizero Adios sneakers because they’re lightweight and stylish. The ClimaCool shirts are another one of my favorites because they keep me cool when I’m working out.”

2. If you were to create a new shoe, what would it look like and what features would it have?

This question is a great way to test your creativity and innovation skills. It also allows the interviewer to see how you would apply those skills in their company. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of a specific type of shoe that you would like to create. You can describe what features it would have and why you chose them.

Example: “If I were to create my own adidas shoe, I would make a lightweight running shoe with a breathable mesh upper. This would allow for maximum comfort while still being lightweight enough for long runs. The midsole would be made from an energy-returning foam material to help reduce impact on the runner’s body. Finally, I would add a durable rubber outsole to provide traction and stability.”

3. Why do you want to work at adidas?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your interest in their company. They want to know that you are passionate about working at adidas and have done some research on the company. When preparing for this question, make sure to read up on the company’s mission statement and values. Highlight how these align with your own personal goals and ambitions.

Example: “I am very interested in working at adidas because of its commitment to innovation. I feel like I would be able to thrive in an environment where we’re always looking for new ways to improve our products. I also love the brand’s dedication to diversity and inclusion. I think it’s important to work somewhere that shares my values.”

4. How often do you wear athletic clothing?

This question is a great way to determine if you are familiar with the brand. It also helps employers understand your interest in their company and products. If you have never worn adidas clothing, it’s okay to admit that. You can explain that you’ve always admired the brand but haven’t had the opportunity to wear any of its clothing.

Example: “I actually don’t wear athletic clothing very often. I’m more of a casual dresser, so I prefer jeans and t-shirts. However, I do own a pair of adidas sneakers. They’re my favorite shoes because they’re comfortable and stylish. I would love to work for a company like adidas because I think it’s important to support brands that make quality products.”

5. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an irate customer.

This question is a great way to assess your customer service skills. Interviewers ask this question because they want to see how you handle conflict and stress, as well as how you can use your communication skills to diffuse the situation. When answering this question, make sure to highlight your problem-solving skills and ability to remain calm under pressure.

Example: “When I worked at my previous job, we had a lot of customers who would call us with questions about their orders. One day, I got a call from a customer who was upset because she didn’t receive her order on time. I apologized for the inconvenience and asked her what color and size she ordered. She told me that she ordered a pair of shoes in black but received them in red.

I apologized again and explained that our inventory system showed that she did indeed order a pair of black shoes. We went back and forth for a few minutes until she finally admitted that she accidentally ordered two pairs of shoes instead of one. After confirming the mistake, I offered her a discount on her next purchase.”

6. Do you consider yourself to be a team player?

Teamwork is an important skill to have when working for a company like adidas. The brand’s products are often used by teams of athletes, so it’s essential that employees can work well with others. Your answer should show the interviewer that you’re willing to collaborate and help your teammates succeed.

Example: “I definitely consider myself to be a team player. I’ve always been part of sports teams in school, and I enjoy collaborating with my teammates to achieve our goals. In fact, I think teamwork is one of the most important skills to have as a professional athlete. It’s much more effective to work together than try to do everything on your own.”

7. Provide an example of a time when you helped resolve a dispute between members on your team.

This question can help the interviewer determine how you resolve conflict and whether you have experience doing so. Use examples from your past that show you’re a good communicator, able to solve problems and willing to compromise with others.

Example: “In my last role as an assistant manager at a retail store, I had two employees who were constantly arguing about whose job it was to clean up spills in the stockroom. One employee felt like they should be responsible for cleaning up spills because they worked in the stockroom more often than their coworker. I met with both employees separately to discuss the issue and find out why they disagreed on this matter. After talking with them, I learned that one of the employees didn’t feel comfortable climbing over boxes to reach high shelves in the stockroom. We came to an agreement where the other employee would clean up spills on lower shelves while the other cleaned higher ones.”

8. Have you ever worked in a fast-paced retail environment before?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have experience working in a fast-paced environment and how well you can perform under pressure. If you haven’t worked in retail before, you can talk about your previous work experience and how it relates to this job.

Example: “I’ve worked in customer service for five years now, so I’m used to dealing with customers who are looking for immediate answers or assistance. In my last role as a sales associate at a department store, I was responsible for helping customers find what they were looking for while also answering questions about our products. This helped me develop my multitasking skills and learn how to prioritize tasks.”

9. Describe your experience working with customers.

This question is an opportunity to show your interpersonal skills and customer service orientation. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation where you helped a customer solve a problem or find the right product for them.

Example: “I have experience working with customers in both retail and call center environments. In my last role as a sales associate at a department store, I was responsible for helping customers find what they were looking for and answer any questions they had about our products. I also offered suggestions on other items that might interest them based on their preferences.

In my current role as a customer service representative at a call center, I work with customers who are having issues placing orders online or need help finding the right size of a product. I enjoy using my communication skills to help people resolve their problems.”

10. How well do you work under pressure?

Employers ask this question to see if you can handle the pressure of a job that requires you to meet deadlines. When answering, it’s important to show that you are able to work under pressure and still complete your tasks on time.

Example: “I am someone who thrives under pressure. I know how important it is to get things done quickly, so I always make sure to prioritize my tasks and get them done as soon as possible. In my last role, there were many days where we had tight deadlines for projects. I was usually one of the first people in the office each day because I wanted to get started right away. This helped me stay ahead of my deadlines.”

11. Which shift are you available to work?

Employers ask this question to make sure you are available for the hours they need. They also want to know if your availability matches their needs. Before your interview, find out what shifts the company is looking to fill and which ones you can work. If there are any that you cannot work, explain why in a positive way.

Example: “I am currently only able to work the evening shift from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. I have two young children at home, so I would not be able to work during the day or late afternoon. However, I am happy to work the evening shift five days a week.”

12. How would you handle a situation where the store is running low on inventory for one of our most popular items?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle challenges and make decisions. Use examples from your previous experience to show that you can think critically, solve problems and communicate effectively with others.

Example: “If I noticed a shortage of inventory for one of our most popular items, I would first speak with my manager about it so we could decide what to do next. If there was enough time before the store closed, I would try to order more inventory from headquarters or another nearby location. If there wasn’t enough time left in the day, I would ask my manager if we could close early so we could restock the item. If we couldn’t close early, I would call headquarters to see if they had any extra inventory available.”

13. If a customer was being rude or disrespectful towards other members of your team, how would you respond?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your customer service skills and how you interact with others. This is an opportunity to show that you can be a team player, even when interacting with difficult customers.

Example: “I would first try to calm the situation by asking them if they needed help finding something or if I could answer any questions for them. If they continued to be rude, I would politely excuse myself from the interaction and find my manager so they could handle the situation. I would also make sure to tell my coworkers about the incident so we could keep an eye out for similar behavior in the future.”

14. Would you describe yourself as more of a leader or follower?

This question is a great way to learn more about your potential manager’s leadership style. If you’re interviewing with someone who prefers followers, it may be best to say that you prefer to follow. However, if the interviewer seems like they want leaders, you should explain why you are a leader.

Example: “I would describe myself as a natural leader. I am always looking for ways to improve my team and make sure everyone is happy and productive. In my last role, I was promoted to lead my department after only six months on the job. My boss said she chose me because of my ability to motivate others and find solutions to problems.”

15. Have you ever implemented any innovative strategies that helped improve sales?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you approach your work and whether you have any innovative ideas that could benefit adidas. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific strategy or two that helped improve sales for your previous employer.

Example: “At my last job, I noticed that our customers were looking for more personalized options when shopping online. So, I started working with my team to create an online customization tool where customers could choose their own colors and designs for certain products. This led to a 10% increase in sales because customers were able to get exactly what they wanted.”

16. Are you comfortable working around potentially dangerous machinery?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your ability to work in a fast-paced environment. They want to know that you can handle the physical demands of working at an athletic goods company and are willing to take on any risks involved with the job. In your answer, explain how you would approach this type of situation if it arose.

Example: “I am comfortable working around machinery as long as I understand what I’m doing. If there is ever a time when I feel uncomfortable or unsure about operating equipment, I will always speak up and ask for help. I believe that safety should be everyone’s top priority. However, I also think that learning new things is important and encourage employees to try new tasks even if they’re not sure how to do them.”

17. How long do you think you will remain at this company if hired?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your commitment level. They want to know that you are in it for the long haul and will be an asset to their company. When answering this question, make sure to emphasize how much you enjoy working at adidas and why you would like to stay with them for as long as possible.

Example: “I have always dreamed of working for adidas, so I plan on staying here for as long as they’ll have me. I love the culture and the brand, and I feel like I could really contribute to the team. I am committed to my work and see myself being here for many years.”

18. We want our employees to always stay up to date on the latest trends. How do you usually keep up with current events?

This question is a great way to see how passionate an applicant is about fashion and the industry. It also shows that they are willing to put in extra effort to learn more about what’s going on in their field. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention specific resources you use to stay up to date with current trends.

Example: “I love following fashion blogs and websites for inspiration. I also subscribe to several newsletters that send me updates when new collections are released. I find these resources very helpful because they give me ideas of what to wear and what colors are popular.”

19. When was the last time you took initiative without being asked to?

This question is a great way to learn more about the applicant’s ability to take initiative and solve problems. It also shows how they feel when they are not being recognized for their work.

Example: “When I was working at my previous job, we had a customer who needed help with sizing. They were having trouble finding shoes that fit them properly, so I offered to call them and walk them through our sizing charts. The customer ended up buying several pairs of shoes from us because of this.”

20. In terms of leadership style, which type do you identify with the most?

This question is designed to give the interviewer insight into your leadership style. It’s important to be honest about which type you identify with, as it can help them understand how you would approach a situation in their company.

Example: “I believe that I am most effective when leading through collaboration and teamwork. When working on projects or initiatives, I like to get input from my team members so we can work together to find solutions to problems or develop new ideas. Collaboration allows us to come up with more creative solutions than if I were to make all of the decisions myself.”

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Adidas Mock Interview

To help you prepare for an Adidas job interview, here are 35 interview questions and answer examples.

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Question 1 of 35

How can Adidas motivate you on the job?

How to Answer

1st answer example, 2nd answer example.

Community Answers

The management team at Adidas wants to know how to best motivate every member of their team. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you find motivation on the job.

"I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I like to know that my efforts are noticed. In my current position, we have a leader board -- I like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition for me as well."

"I am very much self-driven and self-motivated. As long as I am being treated with respect and feel appreciated, you will get the best work from me."

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35 Adidas Interview Questions & Answers

Below is a list of our Adidas interview questions. Click on any interview question to view our answer advice and answer examples. You may view 8 answer examples before our paywall loads. Afterwards, you'll be asked to upgrade to view the rest of our answers.

1. How can Adidas motivate you on the job?

Anonymous interview answers with professional feedback, 2. what is the most competitive work situation you have experienced how did you handle it what was the result.

As a sporting goods company, Adidas values competition, as do many of its employees. A competitive work environment can push employees toward success, both separately and together. Tell the interviewer about your experience working in competitive environments, whether that was racing others to achieve the highest sales, working towards a promotion, or eagerly trying to win a new contract. Show the interviewer that you rose to the challenge and were excited to push yourself to be the best. It is a definite plus if you have cheered on your competitors and helped them along the way. Be sure to mention any successful outcome.

"My current sales position is highly commission-based, so my colleagues and I are quite competitive. Despite being competitive, we have a great work environment where we help each other when someone is struggling to meet their quota. We coach each other on sales techniques and share success stories. The result has been a positive work environment with healthy competition."

"Last year, I worked at a high-end jewelry store where sales goals were intense and the rewards were high. I am geared for healthy competition, so sales contests greatly motivated me. I ended up winning 7 of the 12 contests! I won an iPad, cash incentives, and concert tickets. It was great."

3. Why is this job with Adidas right for you at this time in your career?

A position at Adidas will provide you with plenty of benefits in the present while also allowing for opportunities to move up in the company in the future. Discuss with the interviewer why you are looking to make a change and how this particular role fits well with the changes that you want to make. Be thoughtful and draw upon the research you have done on the company.

"I have been interested in seeking a new position for quite some time but haven't jumped on anything yet because I want to make sure it's the right fit. I feel that this job is right for me, especially at this point in my career, because it offers an opportunity for me to utilize my recent education in Communications while giving me an opportunity to advance in my management skills."

"This job will fit perfectly surrounding my school schedule. I hope once I complete my education that I can be given full-time hours for the summer. I am excited to work for Adidas because of the flexibility you offer students, as well as the growth potential."

4. What type of manager brings out the best in you?

Managers at Adidas work hard to ensure a healthy team, which starts with supporting individual employees. The interviewer wants to see that you are self-aware and understand the type of manager or employer that brings out the best in you, whether that means a close working relationship with a lot of accountability or a more hands-off approach where you have autonomy. If you are unsure of your preference, try to make your answer as open as possible.

"I have worked with a wide range of personalities and management styles with great success. If I could express a preference, I feel that I am best with a manager who allows me autonomy while still investing time in me through mentorship and training. Can you describe the management style here?"

"In the past, I have worked best with managers who are strong mentors but also offer autonomy when it comes to the tasks they know I am well-versed in."

5. How do you handle a situation where your supervisor does not properly communicate information to you?

The environment at Adidas is fast-paced; though supervisors have the best intentions, some information may fall through the cracks. Describe your communication preferences and tell the interviewer how you have handled interactions with supervisors in the past.

"Whenever I have had a supervisor who does not properly communicate with me, I try to learn their style of communication and emulate it. Sometimes you have to relate to others in their style to be understood."

"I have had great supervisors in my previous positions; however, if faced with a communication challenge like this, I would ask the supervisor how I could improve communication between us. Rather than placing blame, I believe it's always more effective to ask for growth recommendations."

6. Personality fit is important to us at Adidas. How would you describe your personality?

Your personality will play a part in whether the interviewer believes you would be a good fit for the Adidas team. Talk to the interviewer about your personality traits -- such as introverted, energetic, or confident -- as opposed to your character traits -- such as honest, hard-working, or reliable.

"I would describe my personality as approachable, light-hearted, and positive. I believe that, if asked, my colleagues and supervisor would say the same about me."

"I am a confident communicator, and I'm very friendly! I love engaging new people in conversation. My last boss, Edgardo, always described me as a go-getter; I enjoy challenges and pushing myself to achieve new goals."

7. What type of work environment do you dislike working in?

An interview isn't just about determining if you're right for Adidas -- it's also about finding out if a job at Adidas is right for you. Research Adidas's work environment. They consider themselves a team of athletes - competing together, continuously pushing towards their goals. They value diversity, inclusion, respect, and fair play. Answer this question honestly, but remember that the environment you discuss should not be similar to Adidas's. Your answer should show the interviewer that you fit their company's culture.

"I can be productive in most work environments, so long as the energy is positive and teamwork is encouraged. I cannot work in an environment that feels negative or toxic."

"I don't work well in an environment with lazy and apathetic employees. I'm a hard worker, and I want to work for a company that values that work. I don't enjoy working with people who try to do the least amount of work possible just to get through the day until they can clock out."

8. We need reliable people on our team at Adidas. How many days were you absent from work last year?

Being an Adidas employee means being reliable and consistent. Make sure the interviewer knows that you respect your coworkers and managers enough to always show up for your assigned shifts. You can be honest about a time you had to miss a shift; be sure to mention that you followed all of the protocols for calling off of work.

"I've never skipped work without a good reason, and I always make sure to call in with plenty of advance notice so that my managers and coworkers are prepared to cover the shift. I've never had an excused absence from work."

"I am very committed to my employer and am only absent in events of sickness or the odd family emergency. I do my best always to be available and present when expected. When I got the flu last year and had to be absent from work for three days, I made sure to inform my managers as soon as I could and bring a doctor's note with me when I returned to work."

9. Describe to me your ideal employer.

A job search isn't just a one-sided hunt. You must also feel that a job at Adidas is a good fit for you. Tell the interviewer about your ideal employer. Be specific, and be sure to keep the conversation positive. Avoid speaking poorly of any previous managers or organizations.

"My ideal employer is one who brings charisma and passion to their work. I work best with organizations that encourage learning and promote their employees based on performance."

"My ideal employer is reliable, has a good reputation, and treats me like a unique individual versus just a number."

10. Tell me about a time when you made a suggestion requesting change in an organization.

The most successful organizations are always growing and adapting to better serve their customers, and Adidas is no exception. In addition to being able to handle change, can you also recognize when change is required and be confident enough to present that to your organization? Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were able to suggest a change in the workplace.

"Last year when I was managing our weekend shift, I noticed a pretty solid opportunity for us to save on overtime hours. I created a presentation and gave it to my manager who took it to upper management. The changes were implemented, and I was very proud of the suggestion that I made."

"When I began my most recent job at a family-run shop, the owners operated based on trust and didn't have a loss prevention plan. I suggested that we install a couple of cameras inside the store to deter anyone from stealing. So far, we have seen a 56% decline in the overall loss."

11. What are your salary expectations?

Do some research to determine how you can expect to be compensated at Adidas, and use your current earnings to talk about your salary expectations. Be open and honest. Transparency is the best choice when salary based questions arise.

"I currently make $15 per hour and work between 25 and 35 hours per week. I'm hoping to stay in the same range or slightly higher."

"I currently make minimum wage, and I'm happy to begin a position at Adidas in that same range. I'm hopeful that my hard work and dedication to the team will earn me a promotion or pay increase after some time. Does Adidas have any merit-based bonuses or pay-scale increases?"

12. How do you feel about performance incentives?

Performance incentives can be very motivating, and you may have opportunities to take advantage of such incentives as an employee at Adidas. Talk to the interviewer about your feelings regarding performance incentives.

"I think performance incentives are a great idea -- they keep me motivated to do a great job, and I like knowing that I'm a part of ensuring that our team is on top of our KPIs. I'm extremely motivated by being rewarded for my successes."

"I've never worked in a position that offers performance incentives, but that's never stopped me from staying motivated. However, small perks are always nice to have!"

13. What do you hope to learn from this job at Adidas?

Adidas uses an approach called 'My Best,' which helps its employees develop a growth mindset. This philosophy encourages continuous learning and positive reactions to failure. They offer countless leadership programs and other learning opportunities and expect their employees to have the desire to learn. Share what you hope to get out of your experience at Adidas. Review the job description and information about related careers to help you get a better idea of what you have to look forward to. Discuss how this position will help you in your career.

"I am looking to lay the foundation for the rest of my career with this position. I hope to increase my already strong skills in sales as well as learn more about running a store -- someday, I would love to become a store manager or open my own small retail business."

"I hope to gain stronger skills in communication and customer service. I understand that retail can be challenging because of the multiple personalities you are faced with on a daily basis. I believe this will help my confidence to grow, and my sales skills as well."

14. Do you have reliable transportation?

If you are offered a position at Adidas, it's important that your managers can count on you to make it to work consistently and on time. Let the interviewer know about your transportation plans, whether that includes driving, walking, taking public transit, or riding a bike.

"I have a well-maintained vehicle, and I am comfortable with the amount of travel required to get to the store every day."

"I take public transit and find it to be very reliable. I always plan for unexpected delays and take an earlier bus if I know it's a heavy-traffic day. I always make sure I'm 5-10 minutes early for my shift."

15. How do you handle situations that could cause you to be late or miss work?

Promptness is an important quality for Adidas employees to have. Make sure that the interviewer knows that you plan for traffic, bad weather, and any other situation that could make you late for your shift. Your interviewer wants to know that you're proactive and can handle the stress of unexpected situations that could affect arriving to work on time.

"I hate being late and always do everything I can to avoid it -- if I'm not five minutes early, I feel like I'm already late! Cincinnati winters can make travel hard, so I always make sure to give myself extra time when there's snow or ice."

"I hope never to be late! When I started working at a restaurant at sixteen years old, we were taught the adage of 'if you're on time, you're late,' so I've worked to implement that into my life. I always try to arrive 15 minutes early, but unforeseen circumstances sometimes arise. I handle surprises using common sense and keeping courtesy to others in mind."

16. What is your greatest weakness?

Be honest. The interviewer doesn't expect you to say that you have no weaknesses. In fact, they want evidence that you are aware of your shortcomings and are working to improve those areas. Adidas encourages its employees to face challenges with positivity rather than fear. Your answer should prove that you can do the same. Choose a skill that is not a core skill for the position. Tell the interviewer what you are doing to improve this skill, and keep your answer positive.

"My biggest challenge is trying to be perfect. I understand that mistakes happen and that it's important to learn from them. I'm working on being more mindful of my progress and not letting the pressure to be perfect impact my performance. I'm making an effort to be more accepting of my mistakes and use them as a tool for growth."

"My greatest weakness is that I can be overly eager to get started on a project before taking the time to fully understand the project's goals and objectives. As I'm new to the field, I'm still learning to take a step back and assess the bigger picture. I'm aware of this habit and have taken steps to combat it. For example, when starting my latest project at my previous job, I took the time to ask questions and grasp the project's scope before diving in."

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17. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Adidas is a great place for career growth and development. Consider your desired career path and goals and how you can reach them. Focus on how your skills and experience could benefit Adidas in the long run. Explain how you plan to use the experience you will gain from Adidas to reach your career aspirations in the next five years. Share concrete examples of how you plan to take on additional responsibilities, advance your skillset, and grow professionally. This will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are motivated and have the ambition to succeed in your career.

"In five years, I see myself as a leader within Adidas. I want to participate in the manager development experience and hope to have developed a wide range of skills through continuing education and on-the-job training. I am eager to take on additional responsibilities and expand my role within the organization."

"In five years, I hope to have advanced my career at Adidas and be in a position of leadership and responsibility. I'm passionate about the company's mission and am eager to take on more challenging roles. I've been in my current position for a year and have already been able to build relationships with colleagues and customers. I'm confident that I can continue to grow and add value to the organization."

18. Tell me about yourself.

Hiring authorities often use this question as an icebreaker to start the interview. Give the interviewer a glimpse of who you are related to the job opportunity. Start by briefly summarizing your professional and educational background, highlighting what makes you the ideal candidate for the role. Talk about some of your professional achievements and how they have prepared you for this role. Provide a short summary of your goals and ambitions and how they could be achieved in this role.

"I am an enthusiastic and passionate individual with a great love for sports and fitness. Adidas has been a leader in the sports industry for years, and I am excited to be a part of the company. I have five years of experience in sales and marketing and am highly knowledgeable in the industry. I am known for my friendly, outgoing personality and ability to connect with customers and build relationships. My knowledge and enthusiasm make me a valuable member of any team."

"I'm a recent college graduate with a degree in business management and a passion for the sports industry. I've been an avid fan of Adidas for many years and am looking forward to the chance to work with the company. I'm a hard worker and have developed a strong work ethic through my experiences in college. I'm also a great team player and have experience working on group projects. I'm confident that my skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm will be an asset to the Adidas team."

19. Tell me three qualities you possess that make you a strong fit for this position.

Adidas is looking for innovators who are proactive, take responsibility, and follow through. They want employees who can work collaboratively and hold themselves and their coworkers accountable. Discuss the qualities that make you a good fit for Adidas's environment, and give examples that demonstrate those qualities in action.

Answer Example

"As an athlete, I am naturally competitive. I make every effort to succeed in everything I do. I am also a team player. Working with others to accomplish a goal motivates me to do my best work. Finally, I have a positive attitude. I work to find the good in every situation, even challenging ones, and my positivity often rubs off on others around me."

20. Adidas puts customer service first. What do you do to put the customers' needs first?

Like all retail environments, Adidas depends on its customers and therefore strives to put the customers first. Discuss with the interviewer how you give your customers the best service possible. This might include listening to the customer, asking questions to understand their needs, focusing on the customer's desired outcome, and proactively providing additional services or solutions that could benefit them.

"I have a rule always to treat my customers how I would want treatment in a store or establishment. Customer service is vital to a company's success."

"I ensure that my customers' needs are met by actively listening to them and also asking the right questions. If I'm working on a task and a customer has a question, I always stop and help them before going back to my task."

21. What do you know about Adidas? Why do you want to work for us?

Adidas embraces and embodies the mentality of the athletes they serve. They value courage, ownership, innovation, teamwork, integrity, and respect. Study the mission and aesthetic of Adidas before your interview. Spend some time on the Adidas website, look at their different offerings, and get a feel for their brand. Tell the interviewer what you learned and which aspects of their company made you want to work for them.

"As an athlete, I appreciate that Adidas embraces values like teamwork and respect. I strongly believe that a sports team works best when everyone respects one another and works together. The same applies to a work environment. I want to work for a company where I feel like a part of a team, working together towards our end goal."

"I admire Adidas' commitment to sustainability all across the production chain -- not many companies actively use their influence to affect change in issues of human rights for workers throughout the world, and I would love to work for a company with the integrity and responsibility that Adidas exhibits."

22. At Adidas, we have a very clear return policy. How would you handle a customer argued with you about a potential return?

As an Adidas employee, you will come across customers who want to argue with store policy. Assure the interviewer that you can handle a situation like this with poise while making the customer happy and keeping the needs of the company in mind as well.

"Return policies are meant to be followed; however, there may be some exceptions allowed from time to time. I feel that having a satisfied customer is most important and sometimes refusing a return is not worth the bad word of mouth or risk of negative online review. There is a fine balance between being accommodating and being a pushover. If I were unsure of the best decision, I would ask my supervisor for clarification."

"I know that return policies are created for a reason, and being a good team-member means abiding by all of the rules and policies of the company. I've been in situations in the past where customers were angry with me about a policy that I had no control over; when that happens, I just have to listen patiently, not take their criticism personally, and work with them to find a solution to their problem that aligns with company policies."

23. We have a strong employee honesty program in place at Adidas to prevent loss. What would you do if you discovered that a co-worker was stealing product or money?

Adidas takes loss prevention and employee theft very seriously. Loss prevention initiatives are an important part of ensuring that Adidas stays competitive in their market. Discuss with the interviewer how you would handle a situation surrounding employee theft.

"My reaction to employee theft would differ if I were a retail associate or a retail manager. If I were a manager and caught an employee stealing, I would terminate them immediately. If I were an associate, I would report the incident according to company protocol. I would avoid approaching the employee as I would not want to make it a personal issue."

"I once had a coworker who asked me to help him steal, and it was so uncomfortable! I would never steal something for any reason, so it was easy to say no to him. Even though it was hard to go to my manager and know that my coworker would probably be fired, I had to do the right thing. What is the process for those kinds of situations at Adidas?"

24. In this role, you will be required to handle customer transactions. On a scale of 1-10 how strong are your mathematical skills?

Strong math skills will be an asset in your position at Adidas. Assure the interviewer that you are comfortable with the skills associated with math-related tasks.

"I did very well in math during high school and am comfortable with the skills required when it comes to accepting cash, balancing a cash float, and performing inventory-related tasks."

"My math skills are strong, and I am confident that I can meet your expectations when it comes to accepting payment from customers."

25. This position requires you to wear a uniform to work. Have you worn a uniform in the workplace before? How do you feel about this?

At Adidas, it's important for customers to know how they can turn to if they need help finding an item or have questions about a product -- and uniforms help achieve that goal. Talk to the interviewer about any times that you have been required to wear a uniform. What are your thoughts on this? Be sure to keep your answer positive and avoid speaking poorly of the practice surrounding uniforms.

"I have worn a uniform for work at restaurant XYZ and when I was a retail manager for company ABC. I have seen the uniforms worn by the retail employees at Adidas and see that it adds a strong level of professionalism."

"I think that uniforms are a great way to provide a feeling of unity in the workplace, and it makes it that much easier to get ready for work! May I see what your uniforms look like?"

26. In our retail stores, we take pride in our merchandising and displays. Do you consider yourself to be a creative person, capable of making an attractive retail display?

If offered a position at Adidas, you may be asked to contribute to the design or construction of displays. Discuss any experience you have creating displays for other retailers. Do you have unique ideas you can share with Adidas regarding their current merchandising? Let the interviewer know if you are interested in creating displays and if you have any special skills to contribute to their construction or design.

"I have a strong creative flair and enjoy creating attractive displays. I think I have enough experience in retail to understand what attracts a customer and what prompts them to purchase, and I'm eager to learn more! The displays I have seen in your stores are fascinating, and I would love to be a part of those creative projects."

"I believe that with some training, I could very easily create displays that are on-brand and exciting to the Adidas customer. I really loved the window display from this past Autumn -- I would love a chance to exercise my creativity on a project like that!"

27. At Adidas, we firmly believe in grooming our employees into management roles as they show potential. Are you interested in potential leadership roles with us?

Adidas offers many opportunities for its employees to grow into leadership roles, including an apprenticeship and dual study program, a global trainee program, and its executive, manager, and director development experiences. They also offer LinkedIn Learning courses and other learning programs. Talk to the interviewer about your interest in gaining a leadership role down the road.

"I would be very excited about obtaining a role in leadership within Adidas in the future. I'm confident that my hard work and attention to detail will make me well-suited for a leadership position in the future as you feel I'm ready to take on more responsibilities."

"I was very excited to learn about your executive development experience. I have been a retail manager for several years, and I enjoy leadership. I would be eager to take advantage of any development opportunities that you have."

28. This position requires a flexible schedule, as we are open evenings, weekends, and most holidays. Are you able to commit to these hours?

Retail positions like a job at Adidas require a wide range of hours that may include evenings, weekends, holidays, overtime, and split shifts. Assure the interviewer that you can commit to a wide range of hours. If there is anything in your schedule that may hinder your availability, be sure to address this.

"I am happy to offer a flexible schedule and to work overtime as needed. I do take an evening college course on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I would not be available those days after 5 PM."

"I understand that this role will include working evenings, weekends, and holidays. I am available to work anytime and am happy to work overtime as well."

29. Working in a retail environment, you will sometimes come across rude customers. How would you handle a customer who is aggressive towards you or a co-worker?

In a service-focused job like a sales position at Adidas, you will likely encounter customers who make your job less than pleasant. Retail and customer service-based roles will often require diplomacy when it comes to working with the public. Discuss with the interviewer how you would handle an aggressive customer.

"If I had a customer who was being aggressive and disrespectful, I would calmly but firmly ask them to calm down. If security needed to be called, I would do so. Everyone needs to remain respectful, and I would not hesitate to ask a customer to offer that respect in return."

"I know that customers are just people like the rest of us -- sometimes we all have bad days! If a customer was upset, I would be sure they felt heard and understood, and then I would let them know that I would do everything I could to address their concerns. Sometimes people just need to know that their problems are important to someone else. I would be sure to maintain my cheerful disposition and positive attitude about the problem."

30. In a retail environment, staff turnover is often high. How would you handle it if your co-worker did not show up for their shift?

Employees at Adidas mus be adaptable and flexible. Assure the interviewer that you are a team player and would be happy to step in if your manager needed a shift covered at the last minute.

"I am more than willing to cover a shift for a co-worker if I am able. I don't mind accepting overtime hours, and I consider myself to be a team player."

"I'm in a position right now where I have plenty of free time, and my schedule is very flexible. As long as I'm available, I'm always happy to cover a coworker's shift if they're unable to make it. In the past, I've also volunteered to stay late to help cover shifts that coworkers don't show up for, and I'd almost always be able to do that at Adidas as well."

31. You will be responsible for a large amount of cash and valuable merchandise at Adidas. What would your most recent employer say about your character and honesty?

Honesty is incredibly important when you are working in a retail environment like Adidas, where employees handle a multitude of cash transactions. Assure the interviewer that you can be trusted by speaking about your character. Draw on the opinion of others to solidify your answer.

"My most recent employer and all others would say that I have strong character and always choose honesty first. I have solid references who will attest to that as well."

"My most recent team-leader, Clara, told me multiple times that she considered me to a be a person of integrity and honesty, which is feedback that I really appreciate. I always want to be a person who my coworkers and employers can trust."

32. Have you researched our company values? What makes you the best candidate for Adidas?

On its website, Adidas states, "through sport, we have the power to change lives." Adidas values sustainability, diversity, equity, inclusion, leadership, betterment, and performance. Explore the Adidas website and become familiar with their core values and mission. When discussing the company's values, be specific. Mention Adidas's "Own the Game" strategy, which puts the consumer at the heart of everything they do, or their "More Than Sport" campaign, which focuses on creating sustainable materials for their products. Then, explain how your experience, skills, and personality make you the perfect fit for their company.

"I've been a long-time Adidas customer, but I was drawn to your 'Own the Game' strategy, specifically your 'People Promise.' Your company's efforts to develop leaders and build teams that play to win, in addition to your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, are inspiring. I want to work for a company that values the same things I do. I believe I am the best candidate for Adidas because I have a strong work ethic and a team-oriented mindset. I also bring enthusiasm to the job and am eager to learn and grow in my profession."

"I've always loved shopping at Adidas, but when I recently discovered their dedication to human rights, I fell even more in love with the brand! I would love to work for a company that I know is doing all it can to protect its workers, from health and safety to fair wages and resource consumption."

33. Take me through your experience in retail. What was the most challenging position you have held? Which was your favorite, and why?

Adidas is all about creating great customer experiences. If you have experience in the retail industry, walk the interviewer through your previous jobs, and highlight your favorite and most challenging positions. If you don't have any retail experience, that's okay! You've likely gained the skills and experience necessary to make customers happy through your other professional and personal relationships -- and you can let the interviewer know that you are excited to make the transition to retail.

"I have worked in retail for the past eight years. My most challenging position was with Company ABC. I found it so challenging because it was a different industry than I was accustomed. I learned a great deal during that time. This position was also my favorite because it was such a great challenge. I like to be pushed beyond my boundaries. It keeps me motivated to be better."

"While I haven't yet worked in a retail environment, I'm excited to get started! I love learning new things, especially when it comes to working with and serving others. In college, I worked at a writing lab where I helped younger students correct their essays and prepare for English exams. That experience was challenging, but I learned so much about listening to people's needs, practicing patience, and helping frustrated students feel at ease. I think that experience set me up for success in the retail industry."

34. At Adidas, we like to hire strong achievers. Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond.

Adidas's mission is "to be the best sports brand in the world." They consider themselves optimists, seeing possibilities where others see impossibility. They push their employees to accomplish great things, so they want to hire employees who are ready to be pushed. Display to the interviewer that you can do more than the bare minimum. Showcase your ambition and drive by providing a concrete example of a time you pushed yourself outside your comfort zone. Describe the results of your actions, emphasizing how you achieved success.

"Last week, I noticed that my manager had not completed the schedule for the following week. Some of the staff complained that they didn't have their work schedule yet. Rather than going to my manager with the complaint, I offered to take on some of her workload so she would have the time to complete the schedule. We worked together for a couple of overtime hours that day and were able to catch her up on everything. It felt good to help but also benefited me by way of organization."

"Several weeks ago, my company announced a competition between the stores in our district - whichever location sold the most of a specific product would win a bonus for each sales associate. My team was determined to win the competition. We brainstormed ideas to sell as much of the product as we could. I volunteered to create displays to attract the customers' attention. I even walked up and down our store entrance wearing a signboard to advertise the product during slow periods. But our hard work paid off. The store manager just announced last week that our store won the contest!"

35. How do you like to be recognized for your accomplishments?

Adidas offers its employees countless benefits beyond financial compensation, including flexible working times, development and leadership opportunities, and family-oriented services. They want motivated employees who do their best work for the company that supports them. To nurture a positive work environment and healthy team, they'll be sure to offer you feedback on your work as well as recognition of your accomplishments. Share with the interviewer how you would want credit for your hard work.

"I am very much an over-achiever and find that the best way to be recognized for a job well done is through words of kindness and recognition. I am easily encouraged, and the best reward for me is to know that my hard work is noticed."

"As an athlete, I enjoy healthy competition. I love when my company offers friendly contests. They give me an extra boost of inspiration and motivation to go the extra mile to prove myself. The contest prize is a welcome recognition of my hard work, but I also enjoy the acknowledgment from the company when the winner is announced. Knowing that my work is appreciated by the company pushes me to work that much harder."

Interview Baba

Top adidas Interview Questions: Complete Preparation Guide

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

When preparing for an opportunity with a global leader in the athletic retail industry, it’s crucial to anticipate the adidas interview questions you might face. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the field, understanding the types of inquiries and how best to respond can be the key to securing your role at adidas. This article will walk you through common interview questions, offering strategic advice on how to articulate your experiences, passion, and knowledge.

2. Exploring the adidas Interview Landscape

Vintage magazine with adidas brand details in a designer's workspace.

adidas is a brand synonymous with sports and lifestyle, leading innovation in the athletic apparel and footwear market. Understanding the company’s culture, values, and market position is essential for candidates looking to join the adidas team. Interviews at adidas are tailored not only to assess technical skills and experience but also to gauge a candidate’s fit with the brand’s passion for sport, commitment to sustainability, and dedication to excellence. Thus, preparing for an adidas interview goes beyond rehearsing answers; it involves immersing oneself in the brand’s ethos and being ready to demonstrate how your personal values align with those of the company.

3. Adidas Interview Questions

1. can you walk us through your experience with athletic retail or a related industry (experience & background).

How to Answer: When you are asked to walk through your experience, the interviewer is looking for a summary of relevant job roles you have held that align with the position you are interviewing for. Be concise but detailed about your responsibilities, achievements, and the skills you have developed that are pertinent to the role at adidas. It’s also beneficial to mention any industry-specific knowledge you possess, such as familiarity with sportswear trends or experience with athletic gear.

My Answer: In my previous roles, I have accumulated over five years of experience in the athletic retail industry. I began my career as a sales associate at a local sporting goods store, where I honed my customer service skills and developed a strong understanding of various sports equipment and apparel. I was consistently among the top performers in sales and was recognized for my ability to connect with customers and understand their needs.

I later transitioned to a role as an assistant manager at a well-known fitness apparel store. In this capacity, I oversaw inventory management, coordinated in-store marketing campaigns, and led a team of ten sales associates. My tenure there was marked by a 20% increase in quarterly sales, which I attribute to our team’s customer-focused approach and our efforts in streamlining the in-store experience.

Most recently, I worked as a product specialist for a major athletic shoe brand, where my responsibilities included training retail staff on product features, gathering customer feedback for the design team, and representing the brand at various industry events. This role allowed me to deepen my product knowledge and foster relationships within the athletic retail community.

2. Why do you want to work at adidas? (Company Fit & Passion)

How to Answer: Your answer should reflect your personal alignment with adidas as a company, including its values, culture, and products. Express your passion for the brand and how your career aspirations align with the company’s mission. Citing specific examples of adidas initiatives or products that resonate with you can strengthen your response.

My Answer: I want to work at adidas because I have always admired the brand’s commitment to innovation and excellence in athletic wear. The company’s focus on sustainability with initiatives like using recycled materials in products is something that deeply resonates with my personal values. Moreover, adidas is known for its collaborative and empowering work culture, which I believe would provide me with the ideal environment for professional growth.

As someone dedicated to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, I appreciate adidas’ dedication to supporting athletes of all levels. I am particularly excited about the opportunity to contribute to a brand that not only champions performance but also inclusivity and diversity in sports.

3. How would you describe the adidas brand and its target market? (Brand Knowledge & Market Understanding)

How to Answer: To answer this question effectively, you should demonstrate your understanding of the adidas brand identity, its market positioning, and the demographics of its target customers. Mention key attributes of the brand, such as its heritage in sports, commitment to quality, and cultural influence.

My Answer: The adidas brand is synonymous with high-performance athletic wear and lifestyle apparel. It is a brand with a rich heritage in sports, renowned for its quality, innovation, and iconic designs. adidas targets a diverse market that includes professional and amateur athletes, sports enthusiasts, and individuals who value style and comfort in their everyday wear.

Professional Athletes Those who require top-tier gear for competition and training.
Amateurs & Enthusiasts Regular individuals who engage in sports and fitness activities.
Lifestyle Consumers People who adopt sportswear for its comfort, style, and cultural appeal.
Youth & Emerging Markets Younger demographics and new regions experiencing growth in sports participation.

adidas also places a strong emphasis on fashion and has successfully positioned itself as a lifestyle brand, appealing to those who see sportswear as a fashion statement. This broad target market strategy allows adidas to cater to a wide range of consumers, from the most dedicated athletes to fashion-forward individuals.

4. Explain a challenge you faced in a previous role and how you overcame it. (Problem-Solving & Resilience)

How to Answer: When discussing a challenge, focus on the steps you took to overcome it rather than the problem itself. Detail the situation, the action you took, and the positive outcome. This demonstrates your problem-solving skills and resilience. If possible, relate the challenge to experiences that would be relevant at adidas.

My Answer: In a previous role as a product specialist, I encountered a challenge when I realized that the feedback from customers was not effectively reaching the design team, resulting in recurring complaints about the fit of a popular shoe line. I took the initiative to create a structured feedback loop where sales associates could compile customer insights which I then synthesized into actionable reports for the design team.

To ensure the solution was sustainable, I worked with the IT department to develop a simple digital feedback system that streamlined this process. As a result, customer satisfaction with the following shoe release increased significantly, and our feedback loop became a standard procedure within the organization. This experience taught me the importance of effective communication between different departments and how proactive measures can lead to improved products and customer satisfaction.

5. How would you approach a situation where a customer is unsatisfied with a product? (Customer Service & Conflict Resolution)

How to Answer: Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your answer, demonstrating how you would de-escalate the situation, address the customer’s concerns, and provide a satisfactory resolution. Emphasize your communication skills, empathy, and understanding of company policies regarding returns, exchanges, and customer satisfaction guarantees.

My Answer: When faced with an unsatisfied customer, my approach is to:

  • Listen carefully to the customer’s concerns without interrupting, showing empathy and understanding.
  • Acknowledge the issue, validating their feelings and taking ownership of finding a resolution.
  • Investigate the problem, if necessary, to understand the full context.
  • Propose solutions that align with company policies, such as offering a replacement, repair, or refund.
  • Follow-up to ensure that the customer is satisfied with the resolution and to rebuild trust in the brand.

For example, if a customer was unhappy due to a defect in their purchased footwear, I would first apologize for the inconvenience and assure them that adidas is committed to quality products. I would offer to exchange the item or provide a refund, depending on their preference. If they chose an exchange, I would help them find an alternative product that meets their needs. Post-resolution, I would reach out to ensure they’re happy with the outcome, reinforcing a positive brand experience. This approach not only resolves the immediate issue but can also strengthen customer loyalty.

6. What do you think sets adidas products apart from competitors? (Product Knowledge & Comparative Analysis)

How to Answer: To answer this question, you should show that you have a good understanding of adidas’ brand, its products, and how they compare to competitors. Focus on unique selling points such as technological innovations, design, brand heritage, endorsement deals, and sustainability efforts. It’s important to be specific and use examples that highlight the brand’s strengths.

My Answer: Adidas products stand out from competitors due to several key factors:

  • Innovation: Adidas consistently invests in research and development to create advanced technologies for their products, such as the Boost cushioning technology that provides exceptional energy return and comfort.
  • Design: The brand often collaborates with renowned designers and celebrities, which keeps their designs fresh and trend-setting.
  • Heritage: With a long history in sports, adidas has established a legacy of quality and performance, which garners trust and loyalty among consumers.
  • Sustainability: Adidas is committed to sustainability, evident in initiatives like using recycled materials and striving to reduce carbon emissions, which resonates with environmentally conscious consumers.
  • Endorsements: The company has a strong portfolio of sponsorships with high-profile athletes and teams, enhancing their credibility and appeal in the sports community.

7. How do you keep up-to-date with the latest sports fashion trends? (Industry Awareness & Trend Analysis)

How to Answer: Discuss your methods for staying informed about industry trends, such as following influential figures, attending events, reading publications, and leveraging social media. Explain how these practices help you remain competitive and innovative in your work.

My Answer: To stay updated with the latest sports fashion trends, I employ several strategies:

  • Follow Influencers and Brands: I follow key influencers, designers, and brands on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter to observe the latest styles and popular products.
  • Industry Publications: I regularly read industry publications such as Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) and Footwear News for in-depth trend analysis and upcoming fashion forecasts.
  • Trade Shows and Fashion Events: Whenever possible, I attend trade shows and fashion events to get firsthand exposure to new collections and emerging trends.
  • Networking: I network with industry professionals to exchange insights and perspectives on the evolving sports fashion landscape.
  • Market Research: I conduct market research and review sales data to understand consumer preferences and successful product lines.

8. Describe a time when you successfully led a team project. (Leadership & Teamwork)

How to Answer: Share a specific example that demonstrates your leadership and teamwork skills. Highlight your role in the project, how you organized and motivated the team, and the successful outcome. If applicable, mention any challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

My Answer: In my previous role as a marketing manager, I led a project to launch a new athletic shoe line. Here’s how I approached the project:

  • Initiation: I started by defining clear goals and delegating tasks based on each team member’s strengths.
  • Communication: Throughout the project, I maintained open communication channels, holding regular meetings to ensure everyone was aligned and to address any issues promptly.
  • Motivation: I encouraged the team by celebrating small wins and providing constructive feedback to keep morale high.
  • Problem-Solving: When we faced a supplier issue, I brought the team together to brainstorm solutions, ultimately finding an alternative supplier to meet our timeline.
  • Outcome: The project was a success, with the shoe line being launched on time and exceeding sales expectations by 20%.

9. What role do sustainability and ethical practices play in your work life? (Ethics & Sustainability)

How to Answer: Express your personal values regarding sustainability and ethics and how they align with your professional responsibilities. Include examples of how you’ve incorporated these principles into your work.

My Answer: Sustainability and ethical practices are central to my work ethic. Here’s how they manifest in my professional life:

  • Decision-Making: I prioritize vendors and partnerships with companies that have strong sustainability policies.
  • Resource Management: I strive to minimize waste in my projects by optimizing resource use and promoting recycling and reusability.
  • Advocacy: I actively advocate for sustainable practices within my team and organization, suggesting improvements where possible.

10. Share an example of how you’ve exceeded sales targets in the past. (Sales Skills & Achievements)

How to Answer: Choose an instance where you significantly surpassed a sales goal. Describe the strategies you employed, how you handled challenges, and the results you achieved. Quantify your success with numbers if possible to give your answer more impact.

My Answer: While working as a sales associate, I exceeded my quarterly sales target by 30%. I achieved this by:

  • Customer Engagement: I built strong relationships with customers through personalized service and follow-ups, which increased repeat business.
  • Product Knowledge: I made sure to have an in-depth understanding of all products, enabling me to make effective recommendations based on customer needs.
  • Cross-Selling: By staying alert to opportunities for cross-selling additional items, I was able to increase the average transaction size.
Quarter Sales Target Actual Sales Difference
Q2 $50,000 $65,000 +$15,000
Q3 $55,000 $71,500 +$16,500
Q4 $60,000 $78,000 +$18,000

These results were a testament to my sales approach and dedication to exceeding company expectations.

11. How would you contribute to a positive work culture at adidas? (Cultural Fit & Team Contribution)

How to Answer: When answering this question, think about the specific actions and behaviors you would exhibit to foster a positive environment. Focus on collaboration, communication, and any initiatives you might take to contribute to the team’s morale and productivity. Be authentic and align your answer with adidas’ company values.

My Answer: A positive work culture is vital for productivity and employee satisfaction. At adidas, I would contribute to this in several ways:

  • Embrace and promote the company’s core values : such as performance, passion, integrity, and diversity, in my daily work and interactions with colleagues.
  • Collaborate effectively : ensuring that I’m always open to others’ ideas and willing to lend a hand or support where needed.
  • Maintain open lines of communication : I believe in the importance of transparent and honest communication to prevent misunderstandings and build trust.
  • Initiate and participate in team-building activities : to strengthen relationships among colleagues and improve teamwork.
  • Provide constructive feedback : to help my peers grow and develop while being receptive to the feedback they provide me.

By consistently demonstrating these behaviors, I am confident that I can help foster an environment that is not only positive but also conducive to innovation and excellence.

12. What do you think are the most important qualities for success in a retail environment? (Retail Acumen & Success Traits)

How to Answer: Consider the qualities that enable a retail environment to thrive, such as customer service skills, adaptability, and product knowledge. Use your experiences or observations of successful retail professionals to inform your answer.

My Answer: Success in a retail environment hinges on several key qualities:

  • Customer Service Excellence : Being able to connect with customers, understand their needs, and provide an exceptional service experience is paramount.
  • Adaptability : Retail is dynamic, so the ability to quickly adjust to new products, technologies, or customer behaviors is crucial.
  • Product Knowledge : A thorough understanding of the products being sold enables one to make informed recommendations and address customer inquiries confidently.
  • Salesmanship : The skill of convincing customers of the value of products and upselling when appropriate can significantly impact sales performance.
  • Teamwork : Retail often involves working with others, so being a collaborative team member can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the store as a whole.

13. How do you manage stress and pressure on the job? (Stress Management & Resilience)

How to Answer: Describe the strategies you use to handle stress and pressure in a professional setting. Provide examples if possible, and explain how these methods help you maintain productivity and a positive mindset.

My Answer: I manage stress and pressure on the job through a combination of proactive planning and reactive coping strategies:

  • Proactive Planning : I prioritize tasks and set realistic deadlines to avoid last-minute rushes.
  • Physical Activity : Regular exercise, such as jogging or yoga, helps me relieve stress and clear my mind.
  • Mindfulness and Breathing Techniques : I use these throughout the day to stay calm and focused, particularly in high-pressure situations.
  • Work-Life Balance : I ensure that I have sufficient time for rest and hobbies outside work to recharge my batteries.

These strategies have served me well in maintaining my resilience and ensuring that stress doesn’t negatively impact my work quality or my well-being.

14. Discuss your experience with inventory management software or systems. (Technical Skills & Inventory Management)

How to Answer: Talk about any specific inventory management systems you have used in the past. Detail your level of expertise with these systems and how they have helped you or your previous employer manage inventory more effectively.

My Answer: During my previous role, I have had extensive experience with inventory management software such as Oracle NetSuite and SAP. Here’s a breakdown of my experience:

Oracle NetSuite :

  • Used for tracking inventory levels, orders, sales, and deliveries.
  • Helped in creating detailed reports for forecasting and analysis.
  • Utilized for material resource planning (MRP).
  • Assisted in inventory valuation and cost control.

This experience has equipped me with a solid understanding of how to leverage technology to optimize inventory management, reduce waste, and ensure that stock levels meet demand without excessive surplus.

15. Provide an example of how you’ve dealt with a difficult colleague or manager. (Interpersonal Skills & Conflict Resolution)

How to Answer: Reflect on a past experience where you successfully navigated a challenging interpersonal situation. Explain the steps you took to resolve the conflict and what the outcome was, emphasizing the skills and personal qualities that helped you manage the situation.

My Answer: At a previous job, I worked with a colleague who had a very different working style from mine, which sometimes led to friction. Here’s how I addressed the situation:

  • Acknowledgement : I recognized that our differences were causing tension and decided to address it directly but respectfully.
  • Initiated a Dialogue : I requested a private meeting to discuss our working relationship and listened actively to their perspective.
  • Sought Common Ground : We identified our shared goals and the importance of our collaboration to the team’s success.
  • Compromise : We agreed on a workflow that accommodated both of our styles.

As a result, not only did our working relationship improve, but our combined efforts also led to increased productivity for our team.

16. How would you plan and prioritize your tasks for a typical workday? (Time Management & Organizational Skills)

How to Answer: To answer this question effectively, you should demonstrate that you have a logical and practical approach to managing your time and tasks. Discuss your method for determining what needs to be completed first, how you assess the importance and urgency of tasks, and any tools or systems you use to stay organized. It’s also useful to mention how you adapt your plan when unexpected work arises.

My Answer: To plan and prioritize my tasks for a typical workday, I follow a structured approach:

  • Assess: I start by assessing all tasks based on their urgency and importance using the Eisenhower Matrix, which helps me to identify which tasks are critical and need to be done immediately, which can be scheduled for later, which can be delegated, and which should be dropped.
  • List: I create a to-do list, placing the most critical and time-sensitive tasks at the top. I include deadlines and any associated meetings or collaborations that are necessary.
  • Tools: I utilize task management tools like Asana or Trello to organize my tasks visually and set reminders. For time-sensitive and complex tasks, I allocate specific time blocks in my calendar to ensure focused work periods.
  • Review and Adjust: At the end of each day, I review the list and adjust priorities for the next day, taking into account any new tasks that may have arisen.
  • Flexibility: While I have a clear plan for each day, I stay flexible to accommodate high-priority, last-minute requests or unforeseen circumstances.

By staying organized and adaptable, I ensure that I am able to manage my workload effectively and meet my commitments efficiently.

17. In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing the athletic retail industry today? (Industry Challenges & Critical Thinking)

How to Answer: For this question, demonstrate your understanding of current industry trends and issues. Identify one or more significant challenges and explain why you see them as particularly impactful. Consider external factors such as technological changes, shifts in consumer behavior, competition, and global market dynamics.

My Answer: In my opinion, the biggest challenge facing the athletic retail industry today is adapting to the rapidly changing consumer behavior influenced by technology and sustainability concerns. Consumers are increasingly seeking a seamless omnichannel shopping experience, expecting to move effortlessly between online and offline platforms. Additionally, sustainability has become a non-negotiable aspect for many consumers, who now demand eco-friendly products and transparent, ethical supply chains.

Challenge Description Potential Impacts
Omnichannel Retail Integrating online and physical store experiences to meet consumer expectations. Increased competition and need for technological investment.
Sustainability Implementing environmentally friendly practices and products. Pressure on margins and need for innovation in materials and processes.
Fast Fashion Responding to the fast fashion trend while maintaining quality. Brand dilution and inventory management issues.

Retailers must invest in digital infrastructure, develop sustainable products and practices, and find the right balance between quality and speed to market to remain competitive in this evolving landscape.

18. Tell us about a time you had to learn a new technology or system quickly. (Adaptability & Learning Aptitude)

How to Answer: Share a specific instance where you were faced with the challenge of learning something new within a short time frame. Explain what the technology or system was, your approach to learning it, and how you applied your new knowledge to achieve a positive outcome.

My Answer: At my previous job, I was tasked with mastering a new customer relationship management system (CRM) that was critical to our sales process. We were transitioning from an older system to Salesforce within a month, and I was responsible for getting up to speed quickly to ensure minimal disruption to our operations.

  • Research: I started by researching Salesforce online, watching tutorial videos, and reading user forums and documentation.
  • Practice: I immediately began to practice using the system with a demo account, applying real-world scenarios I would encounter in my role.
  • Collaborate: I reached out to colleagues who had prior experience with Salesforce for tips and best practices.
  • Training: I enrolled in a week-long intensive Salesforce training to deepen my understanding.
  • Teach: To solidify my knowledge, I volunteered to conduct training sessions for my team, which helped me to learn even more through teaching and addressing their questions.

The result was a smooth transition to the new CRM with no significant downtime, and I was able to leverage the system’s features to improve our team’s sales efficiency.

19. How do you approach goal-setting and tracking your performance? (Goal Orientation & Self-Motivation)

How to Answer: Explain the methods you use for setting clear, achievable goals and tracking your progress towards them. Mention any specific tools or techniques you use and how they help you stay focused and motivated.

My Answer: I approach goal-setting by following the SMART criteria, ensuring that my goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Here’s how I track my performance:

  • Set Clear Goals: At the beginning of a project or period, I define what I want to achieve and by when.
  • Break Down Goals: I break down larger goals into smaller, actionable steps to prevent feeling overwhelmed and to make progress more tangible.
  • Track Progress: I use a combination of digital tools, such as spreadsheets or project management software, and physical methods like a journal to track my progress.
  • Regular Reviews: I review my goals and progress weekly, adjusting my approach if necessary.
  • Celebrate Milestones: To stay motivated, I celebrate small wins along the way to the larger goal.

By setting structured goals and systematically tracking my performance, I maintain a high level of self-motivation and can ensure that I am on track to achieve my objectives.

20. Describe a marketing campaign from adidas that you found effective and explain why. (Marketing Acumen & Analytical Skills)

How to Answer: Choose a specific adidas marketing campaign that stood out to you. Discuss the objectives of the campaign, the strategies and channels used, and evaluate its effectiveness using concrete examples or results if available.

My Answer: One adidas marketing campaign that I found particularly effective was the "Impossible is Nothing" campaign. The campaign showcased stories of athletes and their journeys, featuring personal challenges and accomplishments that resonated with a wide audience. Here’s why it was effective:

  • Emotional Connection: The campaign tapped into the emotional and aspirational aspects of sports, inspiring consumers to think beyond their perceived limits.
  • Brand Messaging: It reinforced adidas’s brand message of perseverance and excellence in sports.
  • Inclusive Approach: By featuring a diverse range of athletes, from well-known stars to lesser-known names, the campaign appealed to a broad demographic.
  • Multi-Channel Strategy: Adidas leveraged a mix of traditional and digital channels, including television commercials, social media, and influencer partnerships, to reach a wide audience.

The campaign went beyond promoting products; it promoted a mindset, which strengthened the emotional bond between the brand and its customers, leading to increased brand loyalty and customer engagement.

21. How would you handle a recall of a defective product? (Crisis Management & Responsibility)

How to Answer: When addressing a question about handling a product recall, it is important to show your understanding of the seriousness of the situation and the need for a swift and organized response. You should emphasize the importance of customer safety, maintaining brand integrity, and following legal and regulatory guidelines. Break down your response into actionable steps that demonstrate your crisis management skills.

My Answer: Handling a recall of a defective product is a critical task that requires immediate and effective action. Here’s how I would approach such a situation:

  • Immediate Assessment: Quickly assess the extent of the defect and the potential impact on customers and the company.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Consult with the legal team to understand the obligations under consumer protection laws and initiate the recall procedure in compliance with those regulations.
  • Internal Communication: Notify all relevant departments within the company to ensure a coordinated response.
  • Public Announcement: Prepare a clear and transparent communication for the public, outlining the defect, the risks involved, and instructions for customers.
  • Customer Service Support: Set up a dedicated team to handle customer inquiries and returns, providing clear instructions to ensure a smooth process.
  • Remedy: Offer a repair, replacement, or refund to affected customers to resolve the issue and maintain their trust in the brand.

By taking these steps, I would aim to minimize harm, uphold the brand’s reputation, and ensure that all affected parties are treated fairly and with respect.

22. How do you ensure compliance with company policies and procedures? (Compliance & Policy Adherence)

How to Answer: Discuss your strategies for staying updated on company policies and ensuring that both you and your team adhere to them. Mention any tools or systems you have used in the past, like compliance software or regular training sessions, and how you monitor and enforce compliance.

My Answer: Ensuring compliance with company policies and procedures is critical to maintain the integrity and efficiency of any organization. Here’s how I ensure compliance:

  • Regular Training: Conduct regular training sessions to ensure that all team members are aware of and understand the current policies and procedures.
  • Updates and Communication: Stay informed about updates to policies and communicate these changes to the team promptly.
  • Lead by Example: Personally adhere to all policies and procedures, setting a clear example for others to follow.
  • Monitoring Systems: Implement monitoring systems or checks to ensure compliance, using software tools where appropriate.
  • Feedback Loop: Encourage an open environment where team members can ask questions and report any difficulties in adhering to policies.
  • Disciplinary Measures: Apply consistent disciplinary measures for non-compliance, while also offering support to prevent future occurrences.

By incorporating these practices, I help to create a culture of compliance within the team.

23. What is your approach to giving and receiving feedback? (Communication & Feedback)

How to Answer: When discussing feedback, emphasize the importance of constructive communication and the ability to both give and receive feedback in a way that promotes growth and improvement. Explain your methods for ensuring feedback is actionable and specific, and how you create an environment where feedback is a part of the culture.

My Answer: My approach to giving and receiving feedback is centered around constructive communication.

Giving Feedback:

  • Be Specific: Offer clear examples to illustrate the behavior or work that needs improvement or deserves recognition.
  • Be Objective: Focus on the actions, not the person, to prevent defensiveness.
  • Be Timely: Provide feedback as soon as possible to keep it relevant and actionable.
  • Be Supportive: Offer guidance on how to improve, showing a commitment to the individual’s development.

Receiving Feedback:

  • Listen Actively: Pay close attention to what is being said without interrupting.
  • Keep an Open Mind: Consider feedback as an opportunity to learn and grow, even if it’s challenging to hear.
  • Seek Clarification: Ask questions to fully understand the feedback and how to apply it.
  • Thank the Giver: Express appreciation for the feedback, acknowledging the effort it takes to give it.

24. How do you stay motivated during repetitive tasks or slower business periods? (Motivation & Engagement)

How to Answer: Describe your personal strategies and mindset that help you maintain a high level of motivation even when faced with monotonous tasks or during downturns in business activity. Show that you possess self-discipline and the ability to find value in all aspects of your work.

My Answer: To stay motivated during repetitive tasks or slower business periods, I employ several strategies:

  • Set Mini-Goals: Break down tasks into smaller goals to create a sense of progress and accomplishment.
  • Find Purpose: Remind myself of the bigger picture and how even repetitive tasks contribute to the overall success of the company.
  • Stay Organized: Keep a tidy and organized workspace, which positively impacts my mental state and productivity.
  • Continuous Learning: Use available time to learn new skills or improve existing ones, staying productive and enhancing my career prospects.
  • Stay Positive: Maintain a positive attitude, focusing on what can be gained from the experience, such as patience or efficiency.

By integrating these strategies into my work routine, I keep my motivation levels high regardless of the task at hand.

25. Explain how you would engage with the local community to promote the adidas brand. (Community Engagement & Promotional Skills)

How to Answer: Talk about the importance of community engagement for brand promotion and provide specific strategies or initiatives you would pursue. Your answer should reflect an understanding of adidas’ brand values and how community involvement can align with and amplify those values.

My Answer: Engaging with the local community is a powerful way to promote the adidas brand while also giving back. Here are some initiatives I might undertake:

  • Sponsor Local Events: Partner with local sports events, fitness challenges, or school athletic programs to showcase the adidas brand and products.
  • Organize Workshops: Host workshops that focus on sports, fitness, and healthy living, emphasizing adidas’ commitment to these values.
  • Collaborate with Local Athletes: Collaborate with local influencers and athletes to create authentic connections with the community.
  • Community Service: Participate in community service projects that align with adidas’ sustainability goals and social initiatives.
  • Interactive Campaigns: Launch campaigns that encourage community participation, such as design-your-own-adidas contests or scavenger hunts featuring adidas products.

By engaging in these activities, I would help to build a strong, positive presence for adidas in the local community, fostering loyalty and brand recognition.

4. Tips for Preparation

Preparation is key to a successful interview with adidas. Start by thoroughly researching adidas’ latest campaigns, product lines, and sustainability efforts to showcase your knowledge of the brand and its market positioning. Understanding their corporate culture and values will also help you align your responses with what they’re looking for in a candidate.

For role-specific preparation, if you’re applying for a position that requires technical skills, ensure you’re up to date with the relevant software or tools. For positions that are more customer or client-facing, practice your communication and conflict-resolution skills. Reflect on your past experiences, focusing on scenarios that exhibit leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving, as these are often valued in any role.

5. During & After the Interview

During the interview, present yourself confidently and authentically. Adidas looks for individuals who are passionate about the brand and can contribute to a team environment. It’s not just about your skills, but also about how well you fit into the adidas culture. Avoid common mistakes like speaking negatively about past employers or appearing disinterested.

Be prepared to ask the interviewer meaningful questions about team dynamics, growth opportunities, or the challenges the team is currently facing. This demonstrates your interest and engagement with the role and the company.

After the interview, send a personalized thank-you email to express your appreciation for the opportunity and to reiterate your interest in the position. This can help you stand out among other candidates. The typical feedback timeline can vary, but it’s reasonable to ask the interviewer for an estimated timeframe during your meeting. If you haven’t heard back within that period, it’s appropriate to follow up for an update.

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Cracking the Code: 15 Common Adidas Interview Questions

Are you a sports enthusiast dreaming of working for one of the top athletic brands in the world? If so, landing a job at Adidas can be an exciting opportunity. However, before you can join the Adidas team, you need to navigate through the interview process. To help you prepare, we have compiled a list of 15 common interview questions that you might encounter during your Adidas job interview. By familiarizing yourself with these questions and crafting thoughtful responses, you can increase your chances of acing the interview and securing your dream job at Adidas.

1. Tell us about yourself.

One of the most common opening questions in an interview is the classic “Tell us about yourself.” This question allows the interviewer to get to know you on a personal and professional level. When answering, focus on relevant experiences, skills, and achievements that make you a strong fit for the position at Adidas.

2. Why do you want to work for Adidas?

Adidas is a global brand known for its innovative products and commitment to excellence. When answering this question, highlight your passion for sports, your admiration for the Adidas brand, and your desire to contribute to the company’s success. Researching Adidas’ values and recent achievements can help you provide a more specific and compelling answer.

3. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the sports industry?

As a leading athletic brand, Adidas values employees who stay informed about the latest trends in the sports industry. Mention specific sources you follow, such as sports news websites, industry blogs, and social media accounts of athletes and influencers. Highlight your ability to adapt to changing trends and use them to drive innovation.

4. Describe a time when you had to work as part of a team.

Collaboration is essential at Adidas, so be prepared to discuss a time when you successfully worked as part of a team. Provide a specific example that demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively, contribute to a common goal, and resolve conflicts. Emphasize the positive outcomes that resulted from your teamwork.

5. How do you handle high-pressure situations?

Working at Adidas can be fast-paced and demanding, so the ability to handle high-pressure situations is crucial. Describe a time when you faced a challenging deadline or a difficult task and explain how you remained calm, organized, and focused. Highlight your problem-solving skills and your ability to prioritize tasks effectively.

6. Can you give an example of a time when you had to think creatively to solve a problem?

Innovation is at the core of Adidas’ success, so the company values employees who can think creatively. Share a specific example of a problem you encountered and how you used innovative thinking to find a solution. Highlight the positive impact your creative problem-solving had on the situation.

7. How do you handle constructive criticism?

Adidas values employees who are open to feedback and willing to learn and grow. Describe a time when you received constructive criticism and explain how you responded to it. Emphasize your ability to accept feedback gracefully, reflect on it, and make improvements based on the feedback you received.

8. What are your career goals?

Adidas aims to support its employees’ career growth and development. When answering this question, discuss your long-term career aspirations and how working at Adidas aligns with your goals. Show enthusiasm for the opportunities Adidas offers for professional development and advancement within the company.

9. How do you handle tight deadlines?

Working in a fast-paced environment often means dealing with tight deadlines. Share an example of a time when you successfully managed a tight deadline, highlighting your time management skills, ability to prioritize tasks, and your dedication to delivering high-quality work even under pressure.

10. How do you stay motivated in the face of challenges?

Adidas values employees who are resilient and motivated, even when faced with challenges. Discuss a difficult situation you encountered, explain how you stayed motivated, and highlight the strategies you used to overcome obstacles. Show your determination and ability to maintain a positive attitude in challenging circumstances.

11. Describe a time when you had to adapt to a change in the workplace.

Adidas is a dynamic company that constantly evolves to stay ahead in the industry. Share an example of a time when you had to adapt to a significant change in the workplace. Discuss how you embraced the change, adjusted your approach, and contributed to a smooth transition. Highlight your flexibility and ability to thrive in a changing environment.

12. How do you handle multiple priorities?

Working at Adidas often involves juggling multiple tasks and priorities. Describe a situation where you had to manage multiple responsibilities simultaneously. Explain how you organized your work, set priorities, and ensured that everything was completed efficiently and effectively. Demonstrate your strong organizational and time management skills.

13. Can you give an example of a time when you demonstrated leadership skills?

Leadership is valued at Adidas, even in roles that are not explicitly managerial. Share a specific example of a time when you took on a leadership role, either formally or informally. Discuss how you motivated and inspired others, delegated tasks, and achieved a positive outcome. Highlight your ability to take initiative and lead by example.

14. How do you handle conflicts in the workplace?

Effective conflict resolution is crucial in any work environment, including Adidas. Share an example of a conflict you encountered and explain how you approached it. Discuss your ability to listen actively, seek common ground, and find a mutually beneficial solution. Emphasize your strong communication and problem-solving skills.

15. Do you have any questions for us?

At the end of the interview, the interviewer will likely give you an opportunity to ask questions. Prepare a few thoughtful questions about the role, the company culture, or any recent Adidas news you came across during your research. Asking questions demonstrates your genuine interest in the position and your proactive approach.

Adidas Interview Tips

Preparing for an interview at Adidas requires more than just memorizing answers to common questions. Here are some additional tips to help you succeed:

  • Research the company: Familiarize yourself with Adidas’ mission, values, and recent achievements. This will help you tailor your answers and show your enthusiasm for the company.
  • Practice: Rehearse your answers to the common interview questions to build confidence and ensure you can articulate your thoughts clearly.
  • Dress appropriately: Adidas has a casual dress code, but it’s still important to dress professionally for the interview. Opt for business casual attire that reflects the company’s style.
  • Show enthusiasm: Let your passion for sports and the Adidas brand shine through during the interview. Demonstrate your excitement about the opportunity to contribute to the company’s success.
  • Bring examples: Prepare specific examples that showcase your skills, experiences, and achievements. These examples will help you illustrate your qualifications and stand out from other candidates.
  • Follow up: Send a thank-you email or note to the interviewer after the interview to express your gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position.

Preparing for an Adidas job interview requires thorough research, thoughtful preparation, and a genuine passion for sports and the Adidas brand. By familiarizing yourself with these common interview questions and following the tips provided, you can increase your chances of impressing the interviewer and landing your dream job at Adidas.

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Adidas Marketing Strategy: A case study in branding and marketing excellence


Few brands in sportswear and athletic apparel are as iconic and influential as Adidas. Established in 1949 by Adolf Dassler in Herzogenaurach, Germany, Adidas has become one of the world's leading sportswear manufacturers. This case study explores the journey of Adidas from its humble beginnings to its present-day status as a global powerhouse in the sports and fashion industry.

1. The Early Years

Adidas' story begins with its founder, Adolf "Adi" Dassler. Adi and his brother Rudolf Dassler started a small shoe company called Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik in the 1920s. However, due to personal and business conflicts, the brothers split in 1947. Adi renamed his company "Adidas" in 1949, a portmanteau of his first and last name, "Adi Dassler."

A focus on innovation and performance marked the brand's early years. Adidas introduced the first screw-in stud football boot in 1954, revolutionizing the sport. This commitment to product quality and innovation laid the foundation for Adidas' future success.

2. The Three Stripes Logo

One of Adidas' most iconic elements is its three-stripe logo. Initially introduced in 1952, the three stripes represent a mountain, symbolizing the challenges athletes face and the goals they strive to achieve. This logo has become synonymous with the brand's commitment to excellence and remains vital to Adidas' visual identity.

3. The Rise of Sponsorships

In the 1960s and 1970s, Adidas embraced the power of athlete endorsements and sponsorships. The brand signed legendary athletes like Muhammad Ali and Franz Beckenbauer, solidifying its reputation as a premier sports brand. Adidas continued to forge partnerships with top athletes and teams worldwide, enhancing its global reach and credibility.

4. The Shift Towards Fashion

While Adidas initially focused on sports performance, the brand recognized the growing demand for sportswear as a fashion statement. In the 1980s, Adidas pivoted by collaborating with iconic hip-hop group Run-DMC, which resulted in the famous song "My Adidas." This collaboration marked the brand's entry into streetwear and laid the foundation for its enduring presence in sports and fashion.

5. Challenges and Rebirth

Adidas faced various challenges in the late 20th century, including increased competition and financial difficulties. However, the company experienced a renaissance in the early 2000s under the leadership of CEO Herbert Hainer. Adidas invested in marketing, innovation, and acquisitions, including the purchase of Reebok in 2005. The brand's revitalization efforts paid off, leading to strong financial performance and market growth.

6. Sustainability and Social Responsibility

In recent years, Adidas has strongly emphasized sustainability and social responsibility. The company introduced its "End Plastic Waste" initiative and committed to using only recycled polyester in its products by 2024. Furthermore, Adidas has embraced ethical labor practices and made strides in reducing its environmental footprint, reflecting a commitment to a more sustainable future.

The Adidas case study showcases a remarkable journey from a small German shoemaker to a global sportswear and fashion powerhouse. Adidas has evolved and thrived in a competitive market through innovation, athlete endorsements, strategic partnerships, and a commitment to sustainability. As we look to the future, Adidas is an inspiring example of how a brand can adapt and excel while staying true to its core values and mission.

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Adidas Case Analysis

Adidas AG is a multinational corporation, founded and headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world, after Nike. It is the holding company for the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade golf company (including Ashworth), Runtastic, an Austrian fitness technology company and 8.33% of German football club Bayern Munich. Adidas’ revenue for 2016 was listed at €19.29 billion.

The company was started by Adolf Dassler in his mother’s house; he was joined by his elder brother Rudolf in 1924 under the name Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. Dassler assisted in the development of spiked running shoes (spikes) for multiple athletic events. To enhance the quality of spiked athletic footwear, he transitioned from a previous model of heavy metal spikes to utilising canvas and rubber. Dassler persuaded U.S. sprinter Jesse Owens to use his handmade spikes at the 1936 Summer Olympics. In 1949, following a breakdown in the relationship between the brothers, Adolf created Adidas, and Rudolf established Puma, which became Adidas’ business rival.

Adidas’ logo is three stripes, which is used on the company’s clothing and shoe designs as a marketing aid. The branding, which Adidas bought in 1952 from Finnish sports company Karhu Sports, became so successful that Dassler described Adidas as “The three stripes company”. The brand name is uncapitalized and is stylized with a lower case “a”.

Adidas Case Study

Industry Apparel, accessories
Founded July 1924; 94 years ago (as Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik) 18 August 1949; 69 years ago(as Adidas)
Founder Adolf Dassler
Headquarters Herzogenaurach, Germany
Related Retail Companies: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Adidas Case Study: Adidas is the great German international corporation which produces sportswear, sports equipment, shoes and bags. Today Adidas consists of a range of branches: Reebok, Y-3, Taylor-Made Golf, etc. The existence of the company began in the 1920 when the Dassler family decided to start producing shoes, generally sports shoes for sportsmen. Very […]

Case Study on Adidas and Reebok Merger

Adidas and Reebok Merger Case Study: Adidas and Reebok are the world leading multinational companies producing sportswear and sports equipment. Reebok is considered to be the oldest company of this type, because it produces sportswear since the end of the 19th century. Adidas on its turn is a quite younger company and it appeared in […]

Adidas – Case Study 2

1. What is Adidas‘ corporate strategy? Has the corporate strategy changed with restructuring? – Lead the sporting goods industry. – Provide athletes with the best possible equipment to optimize their performance. – Market penetration, gain access to all markets in which they can compete. – Develop and expand into new markets and express interest in […]

Adidas Swot and Pestel Analysis

This report is representing and discussing the SWOT and PESTEL analysis of Adidas sports’ wear company. Adidas, a German company with roots in Herzogenaurach near Nuremberg, tells a quintessential success story. The work of brothers Adi and Rudi Dassler, Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory focused on creating the best shoe for each sport and was one […]

Adidas Future Plan

Group is the world’s second-largest sporting goods company and had net sales of IJS$ 7. 74 billion in 2004. Adidas‘ product range includes shoes, apparel and accessories for basketball, golf, soccer, fitness and training. The company has over 14,000 employees, 110 subsidiaries and sources from 840 factories across the world. 0 per cent of the […]

Adidas: SWOT analysis and Michael Porter’s Five

These sports have been replaced in market share by sports such s baseball, basketball, football, and fitness activities like aerobics. Ideas has not developed the marketing mix to compete in these sports and fitness activities. The participation by women in these sports is growing, yet Ideas has neglected this market by remaining a preferred supplier […]

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America’s Top Doctor on Why He Wants Warning Labels on Social Media

The surgeon general says parents should be aware that using the platforms might harm adolescents’ mental health..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Sabrina Tavernise and this is “The Daily.”


A rising tide of mental health problems among teens has sent parents, teachers, and doctors searching for answers. This week, the nation’s top doctor offered one. Today, I talk with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about his plan to take on what he sees as a central threat facing American teens, social media.

It’s Friday, June 21.

Dr. Murthy, nice to see you.

Hey, Sabrina, it’s good to see you, too. You can call me Vivek, by the way. I’m very informal.

Vivek, OK, well, being the nation’s top doctor, I’m inclined to call you doctor, but we can go with Vivek.

Yeah, I’ll tell you, Sabrina. I still think of Dr. Murthy as my dad, so.

Aha, interesting. So you are the country’s surgeon general, and we’re talking to you today because earlier this week, you made a pretty big announcement about the dangers of social media for young people. And you suggested a potential fix for it.

You actually announced this move by writing an op-ed in “The New York Times.” But before we get to that fix that you’re proposing, let’s talk about the problem. When did you start thinking of this as an issue that you should be focused on?

Well, I first started seeing the roots of the youth mental health crisis during my first term as surgeon general. This was during 2014 to ‘17. I was traveling the country listening to communities in big cities and small towns, and I was hearing often about these struggles that young people were having with loneliness and isolation, with depression and anxiety. Over the course of two terms, I have seen this ratchet up with the pandemic pouring fuel on a fire, but a fire that was already burning before the pandemic arrived.

And what specifically were you hearing? I mean, was there a patient you saw or was it something that happened to a friend or your own family that made this problem especially real for you?

Well, actually, there have been a series of things that made it real. One is my own experience personally. As a young person, I struggled a lot with my mental health, with feeling alone and isolated. I was very shy and introverted as a child. And at that time, I thought I was the only one who was struggling. It was only years later, Sabrina, that I actually realized a lot of my classmates were struggling too.

But then I think about the conversations I had as surgeon general, and I heard some stories I expected but many I did not. I remember stopping at a college, and one young woman said to me, I feel like I’m on this campus surrounded by thousands of other students, but nobody really knows me. And I feel like I can’t be myself, and I feel all alone.

I think about the moms and dads who have come to visit me, who have talked about how social media is impacting the mental health of their kids. The one mother whose son was also shy and introverted and struggled a lot with his mental health, was being bullied and was having a really difficult time. And then the algorithm on his social media platform started suggesting to him that he take his own life and started directing him as to how to do that. And he ultimately followed his directions and took his own life.

I heard just countless stories like this of young people who are struggling, parents who are struggling, as well. And those are stuck with me. And those go along with the many statistics we now have that demonstrate that we are indeed living in a profound mental health crisis.

OK, so you’re noticing this problem or this looming problem, and you’re hearing these really tragic stories. How did you go from that kind of anecdotal information gathering to actually studying this issue more closely, to inspect this as a potential health hazard?

Well, once I started hearing those stories and hearing them at such volume and consistency, they’re what really compelled me to dig more deeply into the data and to try to understand what is driving this deeper mental health crisis? It turns out it’s not just one thing. Loneliness and isolation are contributing. The experiences of violence and the fear of violence, particularly gun violence, are contributing to the daily stress and strain that so many families are going through right now. But it turns out, again and again, the issue of social media kept coming up.

So when I decided I needed to dig into this more deeply, I began, essentially, a research project with my team to understand more deeply what is the data telling us about social media and youth mental health? And the data tells us that there is, in fact an association between social media use among young people and the mental health harms that they are experiencing.

The second thing, though, that we know, and this is very important, is we know a lot based on what young people are telling us themselves. 6 out of 10 adolescent girls talk about being approached by strangers on social media in ways that make them feel uncomfortable. A third of young people say they’re staying up till past midnight on their devices. A lot of that is social media use. But nearly half of adolescents are also telling us, on these studies, that using social media makes them feel worse about their body image.

And I want to just caveat this by saying there are still open questions. We want to know more about which populations are most deeply impacted by social media, both positively and negatively.

We want to know what types of use of social media seem to contribute to the most harm and the most benefit. These are really important questions to address, and we should be investing more research in understanding them.

I want to return to something that you said, which is that there’s an association between social media use and mental health problems among young people. So this is a point of dispute within the scientific community, right? There are some studies that show that these two things are associated, in other words, that there’s some relationship there, but there really isn’t much evidence that one actually causes the other, that social media is the reason for the rise in mental health problems.

One of my colleagues, this week, talked to the chief science officer at the American Psychological Association, and she was asking about whether the time a child spent on social media contributed to poor mental health? And he said, and I quote, “the results have been really mixed with probably the consensus being that, no, it’s not related.” What is your response to that?

Well, I think — look, it’s important to look at the research question broadly. What we’re trying to understand, first and foremost, is the answer to the question parents are asking us, which is, is social media safe for my kids? And if you ask researchers, what is the data, tell us about safety, where is the data that tells us these platforms are safe? That data is not there.

So there’s not evidence of safety. There is growing evidence of harm. There is data showing an association between social media use and youth mental health harm. Now, where there are debates and discussions, in the research community, is how big is that association? Is it bigger for boys versus girls? And it seems like it is bigger for girls. Does it differ based on your socioeconomic status, based on other indicators? And those are important questions to debate.

But one of the things that you learn in medicine and in public health, when you’re faced with the real-world problems, is that you have to assess when you have enough information to act, recognizing that you want to continue to get clarity that will continue to hone your approach as time goes on.

To give you an example from a clinical circumstance, if I have a patient in front of me whose blood pressure is dropping rapidly and who is in danger of losing their life, I have to rapidly assess what are the potential causes of that. There could be many different reasons. I’ve got to quickly assess it, and I’ve got to move forward with treating it. And I keep gathering data along the way.

But the risk of inaction, of saying, hold on, let me not take action here, until every question I have is answered, the risk of that is the patient’s life. And that is literally what we are seeing taking place right now. It’s not to say that there aren’t kids who are having some benefits, but the measure of whether we should take action or not is not are some kids getting benefits from social media or not? That is not the threshold.

I lay out in my advisory last year, that there are certain benefits, but getting some benefits does not justify forcing kids to endure significant harms. We can make social media safer. We should so that kids can get the benefits without having to sustain the harms.

So I want to talk more about the warning advisory that you issued last year. As you said, the moment when you first started to act on this. Basically, your thinking was that there were these findings on social media and mental health. They seemed to be related. You were raising the alarm, and you called on parents, on tech companies, and on lawmakers to do more to protect young people. Why did you take that approach?

Well, because I think to address the harms of social media does, in fact, require all of us to ask the question, what can we do to protect our kids? And we all do have a role and responsibility here. But I do think up until now, the vast majority of the burden of managing the harms of social media has been placed almost entirely on the shoulders of parents and kids alone.

Now, think about this for a moment. Because the platforms themselves are designed by some of the best product engineers in the world, supported and resourced by some of the wealthiest companies in the world, and informed by cutting-edge brain science, ultimately to maximize how much time our kids are spending on the platforms. And to tell a parent, who didn’t grow up with these platforms, that they should somehow manage these rapidly evolving tools and keep their kids safe when they don’t even understand the full extent of harms here, that is both unreasonable and unfair. And that is why in the advisory I issued, I called on a number of other players to step up.

And what did you hope would happen after you issued your report last year?

Well, my hope was that a few things would happen. Number one, that policymakers would respond and would come together to start putting in place the kind of safety standards and data transparency requirements and privacy protections that we need. My hope also was that parents and young people would feel seen, would recognize that they’re not alone in their struggles. And finally, I wanted platforms to know that they also have a role here that they still have an opportunity to fulfill.

Social media has been around for nearly two decades. There’s been plenty of time for platforms to make the experience of young people safe, sufficiently safe. It’s one thing to say we’re implementing safety measures. It’s another thing to actually provide evidence that those measures are working to keep our kids safe.

So now we come to this week when you decide to put forward your suggested fix to the problem, and that is a warning label.

Which is something we’re used to seeing on cigarette packages, Surgeon General’s Warning. How exactly would a warning work in practice? I mean, which social media platforms are we talking about, and what would it look like in your ideal scenario?

So a warning label would be a digital warning. It would pop up at a regular basis when individuals used social media. There are important details of what that warning label looks like, what kind of font size it is, what are the literal wording of the warning label, does it have graphics associated with it, what part of your screen does it appear on? Those questions are typically answered in a scientific process that takes place after Congress authorizes a label.

Lastly, it’s important for people to know that there is data about warning labels and their effectiveness. We have now decades of experience with tobacco and alcohol warning labels. And what they tell us, particularly from tobacco, is that these labels, when done right, can be effective in increasing awareness and changing behavior.

But what gave you the idea to propose this? Is it a reflection of any frustration that not enough has been done after you issued your report last year?

Well, it’s a reflection more of the fact that we all have to look at every tool we have in our toolbox and use them to help address the harms that we may be seeing here with social media. And in our case, a surgeon general’s warning is one of those tools.

I want to be very clear that a warning label, in my mind, is not the entire fix to the harms that social media poses to our kids. I still firmly believe what I stated last year in my advisory and what I called for this week in the op-ed, which is Congress ultimately needs to make social media safer. And the way to do that is by putting in place measures that protect kids from harmful content and from manipulative features that lead them to excessive use. That is what Congress has to do. Alongside that, a warning would help parents and kids understand the risks that we see.

But let me separately say that if you’re asking, am I frustrated or concerned that there hasn’t been enough action? Absolutely yes. Look, I think all of us should be deeply concerned about how long it has taken for us to ultimately take action to make social media safer. We’ve got to do better. And that starts, ultimately, with the platforms as well as with Congress stepping up to take action.

We’ll be right back.

I wanted to ask you, Dr. Murthy, about the benefits, actually, because we’re talking that this is a complicated problem, but that there are benefits, of course. You know, social media can be particularly helpful for marginalized kids, people maybe who don’t have access to a supportive group of people around them, that it is meaningfully good in their lives. So how do you think about putting a warning label, kind of, just in a blanket way on all social media platforms in that respect?

So, I think about a warning label is providing people with information about their risk of harms. Now, risk of harm doesn’t mean that every single person is harmed. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t benefits, as well. That’s true with tobacco. It’s true with alcohol. And we have warning labels on both of those products.

But what it does mean is that there are significant risks that people should be aware of. And when it comes to special populations and groups of people and individuals who are helped by social media, we also have to look at the full picture there. Think about LGBTQ youth for a moment.

We do know, that in some cases, social media can be a way for LGBTQ youth to find community, to find support that, in some cases, they may not have in person, right? That can be positive. But what is less mentioned, is the fact that LGBTQ youth are much more likely to be bullied and harassed on social media compared to straight youth.

So how do we put that together? How do we balance those? The bottom line is, that we can’t assume, as I worry we have been doing in some of the debate around this, that because there are some benefits, that justifies all the harms, that it means we shouldn’t talk about the harms.

People have compared this moment in social media to moments in America when new media arrived on the scene and created a kind of social panic or say, new things arrived on the scene and created a kind of social panic TV, video games. That these things would be dangerous for kids. That these things would be bad for kids growing up and for their brains and all of that. What do you say to that criticism that maybe right now we’re just in the midst of another moral panic about this because we don’t quite understand it yet? What do you say to that?

Well, I think it’s an important question to consider. We want to make sure our responses are appropriate to the gravity of the situation. But in the case of social media, there’s something here that is fundamentally different from some of the other technologies that have cropped up and created temporary moral panics, whether that was TV, radio, even going way back, the printing press and books.

What’s different here, is that social media has fundamentally transformed childhood in a way that these previous technologies did not. When TV came onto the scene, I wasn’t bringing my TV into my bed and watching it throughout the night. I wasn’t able to be contacted by strangers through the TV in ways that would lead to bullying and exploitation. I didn’t have my personal data stolen because I was watching TV in ways that also could lead to exploitation and abuse.

All of these things are very unique to social media and the pervasiveness of it, the fact that young people can now carry it in their pockets and have 24/7 access to it, that has fundamentally changed the game. And this point is just important to underscore. Adolescents are not little adults. They are fundamentally in a very different stage of brain development.

And in that stage of brain development, their impulse control hasn’t developed as much. They are more susceptible to social comparison and social suggestion. So the things that, even to us adults, might seem as just willpower questions, you might just say it’s a balance. Just draw a few boundaries around your use of social media, no problem. One would argue it’s quite hard for adults to do that, by the way, but especially for young people, this is exceedingly hard.

And Sabrina, I got to say that, for me, and I know for many others, this is very personal. I’m a father of two young kids who’s watching them grow up you faster than I would like every day and who’s seeing the world coming at them rapidly. And I know I’m not alone as a parent.

And I think about the day when they come up to me and ask me if they can have a social media account. I think about what’s going to happen when their friends are bullied and harassed online. How are they going to respond? Are their friends going to feel comfortable talking to them about it? These are the questions that all of us have to grapple with as parents.

How old are your children?

My kids are six and seven now, and even though they’re young, I will say that a couple of years ago, when my daughter was in preschool, she came home one day and asked us about posting a picture on social media.

That’s how early it’s coming at us.

And what did you say to her?

We said no, and she went on her way, and she was fine. But this is going to happen more and more. It’s happening earlier and earlier to kids. And parents are out there trying to manage this all on their own. There’s no manual for how to manage social media for your kids. There’s no set of ideal practices for how to tailor your kid’s needs to the evolving nature of social media.

That’s actually why I believe that parents need to also come together and support one another around taking a set of shared rules so that not only is it easier for us, but it’s easier for our kids. When we tell our kid, for example, as my wife and I are planning to do for our kids, that we are not going to consider them being on social media until at least after middle school, it will be helpful to us if there are other parents in our friend community and our school community who are doing the same because then we can say, no, you’re not the only one, but Bobby and Mary and Jack are also waiting until after middle school.

And are there other parents who want to do the same to wait until after middle school? Or are you guys outliers?

Well, so this is what has been fascinating, obviously, even in our own school community. In the last few weeks alone, there has been more conversation in our school about how to manage technology for our kids. And there are many more parents than I had even realized, in our school, who want to wait until later. But the reason many don’t is because they want to assume that everyone is just doing this. They don’t want their kid to be left out. So this is a collective action problem.

But many of them are also unsure how to manage some of those harms or may not even be sure what the harms are. And there’s a lot of pressure too. The number of parents I talked to who say, my child came up to me and said, if you don’t let me open up an account on social media, I’ll be the only one —

— in my class. I’ll be left out. Do you want me to be more lonely? And if you’re a parent facing that, of course you don’t want your child to be lonely. So I really feel for parents because our kids shouldn’t be alone in this, and we shouldn’t be alone either, as parents, in managing social media.

So as the daughter of parents who decided that their child should not have a television, I can identify with those kids who say, I feel more lonely.

You’re not part of the conversation. You can’t participate in the games because you don’t hear, and you don’t see, and it is difficult. It’s the hardest thing for a parent, right? Are you worried that could happen to you that your kids — you would somehow kind of deepen the loneliness? I mean, you yourself were a lonely child growing up, you said. How do you think about this?

Well, this is why I think it’s so important for us to build this broader movement together, to reengineer the relationship that our kids have with technology. Because imagine if we delay the age at which kids start using social media. Imagine even after they use social media, if we build tech free zones in their lives, in their days to protect sleep, in-person interaction, physical activity, and learning. Think about what we would do and could do with that time.

I think about the school in Indiana that I went to, which had put in place restrictions around the use of social media and phones during class time. And they said that what they noticed was kids started playing games together in the library, and in the hallway, they were talking more. The volume in the hallways went up. And this has been one of the most striking things to me about the college tours that I’ve done. I remember college as a time where the most noisy place on campus was the dining hall.

Because everyone was coming together to talk about what they did. It was just you could barely hear yourself think.

These days, when I go to college campuses, and particularly the dining halls, it’s quiet because people are on their devices, they’re listening to music on their iPod, they’re on their laptops. And one of the most chilling questions that I got on the college tour, again and again, from kids, was how were we supposed to build connection with one another when the culture isn’t for people to talk to each other anymore? Just think about that for a minute.

They’re saying the culture is not for people to talk to each other anymore. We have to rebuild the spaces where people can talk to each other, where our kids can talk to each other, where they can discover things together, where they can agree and disagree together, but where they can do that in a way that helps them build healthy relationships, negotiate disagreement, and build friendships.

So let’s say that Congress goes along with this, and warning labels start to appear on social media online. We’re now almost 20 years since the advent of the smartphone. 2007 was the first iPhone. I remember getting one. Entire generations have formed their habits around these devices.

And as we’ve discussed, there have been some real benefits, but also there are some steep societal costs.

Someone, I read somewhere, put it that our kids are now this giant human, real-time, real-life laboratory of what all of this is going to mean. So is a label actually going to unwind that? Is it too late to unwind this?

I don’t think it’s too late. I think about smoking in our country. In 1964, when the first Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco was issued. At that time, 42 percent of Americans smoked. There were advertisements everywhere for smoking that kids could see. It was just seen as part of the culture.

And there were people, at that time, who said, the notion that you’re going to get people to stop smoking just seems unrealistic. But the combination of not just a report but all of the action that that report helped to promote and unleash community education programs, advocacy from parents, legislation from Congress and from state and local legislatures. Together, over the years, that helped us take us from 42 percent to below 12 percent. That helped us save countless lives.

So is it going to be easy to change and re-engineer our relationship to social media and to make social media safer? No, it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be complicated. But I firmly believe that, as a nation, America can do hard things. We’ve done hard things before. And what better time than on this issue when what’s at stake is the mental health and well-being of our kids?

Do your kids know what your job is?

[LAUGHS]: My kids now know that I’m the surgeon general, but I don’t know that they know what that means. They know that I wear a uniform. And they know that I do a lot of interviews and talks, but I’m not sure that they entirely know what my day job is. They just know it has to do with health.

In my house, when you ask who’s a doctor in the house —

— my kids point to my wife. And we often have to remind them that, hey, daddy’s a doctor, too. So [LAUGHS]: it’s one of the humbling things about being a parent, and I love it.

Do they know anything about what you did this week?

They know that I was doing a lot of media because they saw me on TV here and there when they were walking past their grandparents’ television. But they don’t really know, otherwise. They don’t really know what — really, what social media is, at this point. But that is going to change any day now. It’s coming.

Do you think that, potentially, what you’re doing now means that they will be more protected?

I hope so, yeah. I mean, we do the work we do, as parents, I do the work I do, as a dad, not only because I want to serve, but because I want the world to be better for my kids.

And that’s what guides me here too.

I want my kids to grow up in a world where the technology and the tools that are in front of them help them and don’t harm them. I want them to grow up in a world where we are more connected with one another, where they can build friendships, and they can seek out other kids who may be struggling with loneliness and help them feel less alone and know that there’s somebody who’s got their back.

If I’ve learned one thing, in my life, it’s that we really do need each other. My wife and I, as much as we love our kids, we can’t make sure the whole world is safe for them by ourselves. We can’t make sure that they grow and encounter healthy levels of adversity just on our own. This is something we’ve got to do together as parents.

And so I do hope that the work that I do will have some small contribution to making the world better for them. But I also know that to fulfill that hope, it’s going to take all of us working hand in hand and keeping our North star clear, which is, ultimately, taking care of our kids. Because as a dad, I just don’t know what’s more important than that.

Dr. Murthy, thank you so much for your time.

Thank you so much, Sabrina. I really appreciate the chance to talk with you about this. [MUSIC PLAYING]

You can hear more discussion of the surgeon general’s social media recommendation on this week’s episode of “Hard Fork.”

Here’s what else you should know today. On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld a tax on foreign income that helped finance the tax cuts that President Donald Trump imposed in 2017 in a case that many experts had cautioned could undercut the nation’s tax system. The vote was 7 to 2, with Justice Brett Kavanaugh writing the majority opinion. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and by the court’s three liberals. The ruling avoided what many feared could have been fiscal chaos by upholding, for now, the structure of the income tax system.

And Donald Sutherland, the actor who played a laid-back battlefield surgeon in the television series “M*A*S*H” and a soulful father in the movie “Ordinary People,” died on Thursday, in Miami, at the age of 88. Sutherland was known for his wide range. He had the ability to both charm and unsettle, to reassure and repulse. Across six decades, starting in the early 1960s, he appeared in nearly 200 films and television shows. Some years, he was in as many as half a dozen movies.

A quick reminder to catch a new episode of “The Interview” right here tomorrow. This week, Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer about why she wants to meet one of the men convicted of plotting to kidnap her in 2020.

I’d like to understand what drove this group of people to undergo this exercise to try to kidnap me and kill me. I want to understand it. What is happening —

You think there’s something to understand?

Maybe. Maybe there’s not. But I’d like to see.

Today’s episode was produced by Lynsea Garrison, Rob Szypko, Alex Stern, and Rikki Novetsky. It was edited by Lexie Diao and Michael Benoist, contains original music by Dan Powell and Chelsea Daniel and was engineered by Alison Moxley. Special thanks to Ellen Barry. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Sabrina Tavernise. See you on Monday.

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Warning: This episode contains mentions of bullying and suicide.

A rising tide of mental health problems among teenagers has sent parents, teachers and doctors searching for answers. This week, the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, offered one: social media.

Today, Dr. Murthy discusses his proposal to require platforms such as YouTube, TikTok and Instagram to include warning labels, like those that appear on tobacco and alcohol products.

On today’s episode

Dr. Vivek H. Murthy , the U.S. surgeon general.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, wearing a military uniform, speaks into a microphone.

Background reading

Dr. Murthy cannot unilaterally impose warnings on social media; the action requires approval by Congress .

Read a guest essay by Dr. Murthy: Why I’m Calling for a Warning Label on Social Media Platforms .

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We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Julia Simon, Sofia Milan, Mahima Chablani, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Maddy Masiello, Isabella Anderson, Nina Lassam and Nick Pitman.

An earlier version of this episode misstated one of Donald Sutherland’s most notable roles. He starred in the film M*A*S*H, not the television series that followed.

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  • Published: 20 June 2024

Association of interleukin-2 and interleukin-10 with the pathophysiology and development of generalized anxiety disorder: a case-control study

  • Nisat Sarmin 1   na1 ,
  • A. S. M. Roknuzzaman 2   na1 ,
  • Rapty Sarker 1   na1 ,
  • Mamun -or-Rashid 1 ,
  • MMA Shalahuddin Qusar 3 ,
  • Sitesh Chandra Bachar 4 ,
  • Eva Rahman Kabir 5 ,
  • Md. Rabiul Islam 5 &
  • Zobaer Al Mahmud 1  

BMC Psychiatry volume  24 , Article number:  462 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

497 Accesses

Metrics details

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a devastating mental health condition characterized by constant, uncontrolled worrying. Recent hypotheses indicate that pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines are potential contributors to the pathogenesis of GAD. Here, we aimed to assess the role of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) in the pathophysiology and development of GAD.

This study recruited 50 GAD patients diagnosed according to the DSM-5 criteria and 38 age-sex-matched healthy controls (HCs). A qualified psychiatrist evaluated all study subjects. The socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the study population were determined using pre-structured questionnaires or interviews, and cytokine serum levels were estimated using commercially available ELISA kits.

We observed reduced serum IL-10 levels in GAD patients compared to HCs (33.69 ± 1.37 pg/ml vs. 44.12 ± 3.16 pg/ml). Also, we observed a significant negative correlation between altered IL-10 levels and GAD-7 scores ( r =-0.315, p  = 0.039). Moreover, IL-10 serum measurement exhibited good predictive value in receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis with an area under the curve (AUC) value of 0.793 ( p  < 0.001) with 80.65% sensitivity and 62.79% specificity at a cutoff value of 33.93 pg/ml. Conversely, we noticed elevated serum IL-2 levels in GAD patients than in HCs (14.81 ± 2.88 pg/ml vs. 8.08 ± 1.1 pg/ml); however, it failed to maintain any significant association with GAD-7 scores, implying that IL-2 might not be involved in GAD pathogenesis. The lower AUC value (0.640; p  > 0.05) exhibited by IL-2 serum measurement in ROC analysis further supported that IL-2 might not be associated with GAD.

This study provides new insights into the complex interplay between anti-inflammatory cytokines and GAD pathogenesis. Based on the present findings, we can assume that IL-10 but not IL-2 may be associated with the pathophysiology and development of GAD. However, further research with a larger population size and longitudinal design is required to confirm the potential diagnostic efficacy of IL-10.

Peer Review reports

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by persistent and excessive uncontrollable fear or worry (occurs for at least 6 months) about various aspects/activities of daily life, affecting the educational, occupational, or social lives of the affected people [ 1 ]. If a person is excessively worried about anything for most days over at least 6 months, he/she is considered to have GAD. Though currently the prevalence rate of GAD is 3–6% worldwide [ 1 , 2 , 3 ], the prevalence is increasing day by day due to the complexity of modern lifestyles and thus warrants attention from national and international authorities to take interventions for mitigating and managing this disorder properly. If it remains undiagnosed or untreated, the uncontrollable and persistently intense anxiety can lead to a marked reduction in cognitive functions or a reduced capacity to work properly in all spheres of life, including educational, family, social, and individual routine work. As such, chronic GAD leads to a reduced quality of life and thereby poses a significant mental health concern globally.

Despite its high prevalence, significant morbidity, and socioeconomic burden, GAD remains poorly characterized in terms of its pathophysiology or effective treatment options. Though the precise cause and mechanism of pathogenesis are still unknown, evidence suggests that multiple factors, including disrupted serotonergic, dopaminergic, and GABAergic neurotransmission and excessive glutamatergic neurotransmission in the brain, genetic factors, family or environmental stress, chronic diseases, hyperthyroidism, childhood trauma, and special personality traits, are linked to GAD. Alterations in monoaminergic neurotransmissions in limbic systems (cingulate gyrus, hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus, and hypothalamus) due to the lower synaptic availability of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are thought to be associated with anxiety symptoms. Besides, decreased GABA-mediated inhibitory neurotransmission in the amygdala or excessive activation of excitatory glutamatergic neurotransmission are also suggested to be involved in GAD pathology.

Currently, available pharmacotherapies for GAD include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), pregabalin, and benzodiazepines, which act by reversing these altered monoaminergic neurotransmitter systems. Alongside these drug treatments, non-pharmacological therapies such as several psychological interventions, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, and the acquisition and application of stress management skills, including relaxation and mindfulness skills are also widely used for the management of GAD. However, currently, available pharmacotherapies (SSRIs, SNRIs, pregabalin, and benzodiazepines) have failed to demonstrate the required efficacy in treating anxiety disorders, as 50% of patients failed to respond to these drugs, and at least in 30% of cases, there is a recurrence of the disease following the pharmacological treatment [ 1 , 4 , 5 ]. Moreover, studies reported a higher rate of discontinuity from these pharmacotherapies with low patient adherence or compliance due to the adverse effects, including sexual dysfunction for SSRIs and SNRIs, nausea and dizziness for pregabalin, demonstrating an urgent need for searching for novel anxiolytics [ 3 ]. These findings raised questions about the validity of the currently available mechanism of pathogenesis and suggested that the altered monoaminergic neurotransmitter system might not fully explain the molecular mechanism of GAD development, suggesting other pathophysiological factors might be involved in GAD. Recently, dysregulated immune systems have attracted great interest as an important pathophysiological factor for the development of GAD [ 4 , 6 , 7 , 8 ]. Several clinical and preclinical studies suggest a link between the altered immune system and GAD pathology. Preclinical studies in mice also demonstrated that administration of pro-inflammatory cytokines (including IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-6) in mice resulted in anxiety-like behaviors that were attenuated or normalized after injecting either anti-inflammatory cytokines or antagonists for the concerned cytokines [ 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 ]. A recent prospective cohort study conducted by Hou et al., (2019) demonstrated that administration of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (escitalopram or sertraline) resulted in a significant reduction in peripheral pro-inflammatory cytokines, and the authors suggested that the anxiolytic effects of these SSRIs might partly be based on their acute anti-inflammatory activities [ 14 ], implicating a significant association between dysregulated peripheral immune systems and GAD development. The development of anxiety-like symptoms in IL-4 gene knock-out mice, reduced levels of IL-4 in anxious mice, and the significant attenuation of anxiety-like behaviors following IL-4 injection demonstrated a positive association between anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-4 levels, and anxiety pathology [ 15 , 16 , 17 , 18 ]. This immune hypothesis of GAD development is further potentiated by findings from several clinical studies that reported that GAD patients showed significantly higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines ( IL-1Ra, IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α, etc.) compared to healthy controls (HCs) [ 19 , 20 , 21 , 22 , 23 , 24 , 25 , 26 , 27 , 28 ] along with decreased levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-4 and IL-10 [ 25 ]. Besides, pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, and IL-6 were significantly associated with anxiety scores [ 29 ]. Consistent with this, a randomized clinical trial in humans demonstrated that LPS administration resulted in enhanced anxiety scores, and the authors suggested a significant correlation between pro-inflammatory cytokine levels and anxiety severity [ 30 ]. LPS-mediated microglia activation causes enhanced release of excessive pro-inflammatory cytokines in the basolateral amygdala, which ultimately leads to neuroinflammation in mice, resulting in the development of anxiety and depression-like behaviors by modulating neuronal plasticity. The authors found that anxiety pathogenesis was due to the excessive release of excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate from presynaptic axonal terminals of the prefrontal cortex, leading to neuroplasticity [ 31 ]. However, some studies reported either no significant variation in pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory cytokine serum levels between GAD patients and HCs [ 32 ] or that pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-1, IL-2, and IL-6 were significantly reduced in GAD patients than HCs [ 33 , 34 ]. This discrepancy in altered levels of inflammatory cytokines across clinical studies necessitates a further examination of the role of these cytokines in GAD pathophysiology.

Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is one of the major pro-inflammatory cytokines implicated in T cell activation, proliferation, and differentiation and is thus linked to excessive neuro-inflammatory processes [ 35 ]. IL-2 has been shown to impair synaptic plasticity and cause neuroinflammation, which ultimately leads to neuronal damage in neurocircuits associated with fear and anxiety signal transduction. IL-2 was also reported to act as a potent modulator of NMDA and kainite-mediated excitability in mesolimbic or mesostriatal systems [ 36 , 37 , 38 ] and thus affect neuroplasticity. As IL-2 was found to be positively associated with major depressive disorder [ 38 , 39 ], probably, IL-2 might also be correlated with anxiety disorders like GAD, as MDD and GAD are highly co-morbid themselves and thus might share common pathophysiological factors. Recently, a preclinical study conducted by Gilio et al., (2022) observed that IL-2 administration in experimentally healthy mice triggered marked anxiety and depression-like behaviors, and the authors suggested that inhibition of GABA-mediated synaptic inhibitory neurotransmission was involved in the pathology of anxiety [ 40 ].

Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is one of the major anti-inflammatory cytokines that is secreted from Treg cells, Th2 cells, CD4 + T cells, CD8 + T cells, monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, B cells, neutrophils in the peripheral nervous system, and from microglia, astrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS) [ 41 ]. IL-10 signaling triggers anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and immunoregulatory activities, including downregulating the production and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines from activated macrophages, neutrophils, mast cells, Th1 cells, and DCS, decreasing the expression of MHC class II and co-stimulatory molecules on macrophages, and thereby suppressing the antigen presentation capacity of APCS [ 42 , 43 , 44 , 45 , 46 ]. In the CNS, it inhibits the production of such cytokines and chemokines by activated microglia and thereby counteracts cellular and tissue damage in response to excessive neuroinflammation [ 47 , 48 ]. IL-10 has also been shown to stimulate axonal regeneration and activate wound healing through tissue repair [ 48 ]. Research also indicates its role as an inhibitor for microglial hyperactivation in response to LPS-induced inflammatory stimulus [ 49 ]. Based on its anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory functions, researchers suggested an intricate role for IL-10 in several auto-immune and neuropsychiatric disorders. For example, Mesquita et al., (2008) observed that IL-10 KO mice developed markedly enhanced depressive-like behavior, which was attenuated after IL-10 administration, and that overexpression of IL-10 resulted in reduced depressive behaviors in mice [ 50 ]. Moreover, administration of IL-10 into rats attenuated the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β-induced anxiety-like symptoms in male rats [ 10 ], demonstrating that IL-10 possesses anxiolytic activities. Preclinical research using an experimental animal model also suggests that the observed anxiolytic effect of several anti-anxiety drugs, including 3’-deoxyadenosine (3’-dA), imipramine, fluoxetine, and chlordiazepoxide, stems from their ability to upregulate anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-4, IL-10) expression in the prefrontal cortex and locus coeruleus and simultaneous down-regulation of proinflammatory cytokine gene expression, leading to a correction of the imbalance between proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory states [ 51 , 52 ]. Though several preclinical studies suggest a potential link between IL-10 levels and anxiety disorder, there is a scarcity of clinical studies aimed at evaluating such an association between IL-10 and GAD development [ 10 ].

Currently, there is no objective and cost-effective diagnostic or prognostic biomarker for GAD, which poses challenges in early diagnosis or risk prediction and leads to misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis, hampering the proper management of the disease. Currently available diagnostic tools, including self-reported symptoms and scoring severity based on the patient’s response to the 7-item questionnaire (GAD-7 scores), are subjective. Though neuroimaging techniques such as positron emission tomography (PET) and functional MRI can be used for the proper and objective diagnosis of GAD, due to their high cost and sophistication or complexities, these diagnostic tools are not suitable for either mass-level screening or are not easy to conduct multiple times to monitor the disease progression or therapeutic drug response. As such, the investigation of cost-effective objective biomarkers for GAD is one of the major focuses of current research on GAD. Finding a suitable biomarker is essential for early diagnosis and initiating psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy as early as possible [ 3 ]. Several studies were performed investigating the potential association between altered pro-inflammatory cytokines or anti-inflammatory cytokines and the pathogenesis of GAD. However, the actual role of inflammatory cytokines in GAD patients is not well explained. Therefore, the present study aims to explore the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-2) and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10) in the pathophysiology and development of GAD. Also, we aim to find the potential associations of IL-2 and IL-10 with the severity of GAD patients. We believe the present study results would help to understand the pathophysiology and development of GAD.

Study population

We recruited 88 participants for this case-control study (50 GAD patients and 38 HCs matched by age and sex). Patients were collected from the Department of Psychiatry, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and HCs from nearby areas of Dhaka city. A professional psychiatrist diagnosed patients and evaluated HCs based on DSM-5 criteria. We applied a 7-item GAD scale to assess the severity of anxiety symptoms [ 53 ]. The total scores range from 0 to 21, and it classifies the anxiety severity into four categories: minimal anxiety (0–4 scores), mild anxiety (5–9 scores), moderate anxiety (10–14 scores), and severe anxiety (15–21 scores). We excluded subjects with a co-morbidity of other psychiatric disorders, such as MDD, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social phobia, from the study. Additional exclusion criteria for participants were chronic liver and kidney diseases, infectious diseases, and alcohol or substance abuse. We also excluded patients who were exposed to anxiolytics or antidepressant medications within at least two weeks prior to the study that might have an impact on cytokine levels. We recorded the sociodemographic profile of the study population using a pre-designed questionnaire. The objectives of the study were explained to each participant, and informed written consent was obtained from them before their participation in this study. The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

Blood sample collection and serum isolation

A 5 ml blood sample was collected from the cephalic vein of each participant. The blood samples were kept at room temperature for 1 hour to ensure coagulation and were then subjected to centrifugation at 3000 rpm for 15 minutes at room temperature to collect serum samples. The collected serum was then placed in the Eppendorf tube and stored at -80 °C until further analysis.

Estimation of serum cytokine levels

We estimated the serum levels of IL-2 and IL-10 by ELISA methods (Boster Bio, USA). We followed the manufacturer’s protocol for the ELISA assays. At first, we added 100 µl of standard cytokine solution, samples, and controls to each well of a pre-coated 96-well microplate. The microplates were covered with a plate sealer and incubated for 90 min at 37⁰C. After that, the cover was removed, and the liquid in each well was discarded. Subsequently, 100 µl of biotinylated anti-IL-2 antibody or anti-IL-10 antibody was incorporated into each well and incubated for 60 min at 37⁰C. After discarding the liquid from each well and washing it three times with 300 µl of wash buffer, 100 µl of avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex was added to each well, and the microplate was then again incubated for 30 min at 37⁰C. After the incubation period, the liquid was again discarded, and the plate was washed again with 300 µl of wash buffer five times. Following the addition of 90 µl color-developing reagent (TMB) into each well, the plate was incubated in a dark place for 30 min at RT, followed by the addition of 90 µl of stop solution to each well to stop the reaction process. We measured the absorbance with a microplate reader at 450 nm. We calculated the cytokine levels using standard curves and expressed them as pg/ml.

Data presentation and statistical analysis

GraphPad Prism (version 8.0.1) and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (version 24.0) were used for data analysis. We used descriptive statistics to find the variations in sociodemographic profiles and clinical characteristics between the groups. A T-test and a Chi-square test were employed to determine the statistical level of significance between the mean differences for variables across patients versus HC groups in the case of continuous variables and categorical variables, respectively. We used boxplot graphs for comparisons of analyzed cytokines between patients and HCs. We also generated scatter plot graphs for several clinical variables in GAD patients to show the correlations among the clinical parameters. A correlation analysis was performed to assess the potential association between several demographic and clinical variables in GAD patients. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was conducted to determine the diagnostic efficacy of serum IL-2 or IL-10 levels in discriminating GAD patients from HCs. In all cases, statistical significance was considered at p  < 0.05.

Sociodemographic characteristics of the study population

The sociodemographic characteristics of the study population are presented in Table  1 . The GAD patients and HCs were similar in terms of their age, sex, and BMI. Among the participants, about 60% were male and from urban areas. The majority of patients (60.00%) and HCs (68.42%) were unmarried. There was no significant variation between patients and HCs for their education level, occupation, economic status, or smoking status. In contrast, there was a difference between patients and HCs for their family history and previous history of the disease. In GAD patients, 20.00% had a family history, and 40.00% had a previous history of the disease.

Clinical characteristics and laboratory findings

Clinical characteristics and laboratory analysis results are presented in Table  2 . GAD patients displayed markedly higher serum levels of IL-2 (14.81 ± 2.88 pg/ml) compared to HCs (8.08 ± 1.10 pg/ml), and the difference reached the statistically significant level ( p  = 0.037, two-tailed unpaired t-test) (Table  2 ; Fig.  1 ). Though male GAD patients exhibited markedly higher levels of IL-2 compared to male HCs ( p  = 0.048), there was no significant variation in IL-2 levels between female patients and female HCs ( p  > 0.05) (Fig.  1 ). Though some 1.8-fold higher IL-2 serum levels were observed in male GAD patients compared to female GAD patients, the difference did not reach the statistical significance level ( p  = 0.198, two-tailed unpaired t-test). In contrast to the results obtained for IL-2, IL-10 showed a statistically significant ( p  < 0.001) reduction in GAD patients (33.69 ± 1.37 pg/ml) compared to HCs (44.12 ± 3.16 pg/ml) (Fig.  1 ). Similar to the results obtained for IL-2, IL-10 levels showed a statistically significant difference between patients versus HCs when male people were considered (Fig.  1 ). In contrast, there was no significant variation in IL-10 levels between female GAD patients and female HCs ( p  > 0.05).

figure 1

Distribution of serum IL-2 ( a i ) and IL-10 ( b i ) levels in GAD patients and healthy controls. Comparison of IL-2 and IL-10 levels between GAD patients and their counterparts in control subjects are showed in a i and b i . Comparison of IL-2 and IL-10 levels between male or female GAD patients and their counterparts in control subjects are presented in a ii and b ii

Correlation analysis among different study parameters

We then performed a series of correlation analyses to investigate the association of altered cytokine serum levels with several demographic and clinical variables, such as age, BMI, DSM-5, and GAD-7 scores (Table  3 ). Serum IL-2 levels did not show any positive or negative association with either DSM-5 or GAD-7 scores ( p  > 0.05), suggesting that despite its significant enhancement in GAD patients compared to HCs, IL-2 may not associate with GAD pathophysiology. We also observed no significant association between the ages of the patients and IL-2 serum levels. In contrast, the IL-2 levels of GAD patients maintained a significant and positive correlation with BMI levels of patients ( r  = 0.390, p  < 0.05) which is consistent with the intricate relationship between body mass and enhanced pro-inflammatory responses. Contrary to the results obtained for IL-2, reduced serum IL-10 levels maintained a significant but negative association with both DSM-5 scores ( r =-0.300, p  = 0.045) and GAD-7 scores ( r =-0.315, p  = 0.039), implicating that altered IL-10 levels are linked to GAD development or pathogenesis. However, the age and BMI levels of GAD patients failed to show any positive or negative association with IL-10 serum levels. Analysis also showed a significant and strong positive association between IL-2 and IL-10 serum levels ( r  = 0.471, p  = 0.011) in GAD patients, which might be due to the compensatory enhancement of anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10 in response to elevated pro-inflammatory cytokine, IL-2 levels. Also, we displayed these correlations among several clinical variables of GAD patients by scatter plot graphs (Fig.  2 ).

figure 2

Scatter plot graphs for several clinical variables of GAD patients showing existence or absence of correlation between the clinical parameters. Scatter plot for serum IL-2 levels versus GAD-7 scores ( a ) or DSM-5 scores ( b ) expressing no significant association between IL-2 and both clinical parameters. Scatter plot graphs showing significant association between IL-2 levels and BMI ( c ), IL-10 levels and GAD-7 scores ( d ), IL-10 levels and DSM-5 scores and IL-10 and IL-2 levels ( f )

Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis

Serum IL-10 measurement showed a good performance in differentiating GAD patients from HCs, which was evidenced by its significantly higher area under the curve (AUC) value of 0.793 ( p  < 0.001) with 80.65% sensitivity and 62.79% specificity at a cut-off value of 33.93 pg/ml, in which the cytokine levels below this point indicate disease states (Table  4 ; Fig.  3 ). ROC analysis of serum IL-2 levels failed to discriminate GAD patients from HCs as the AUC value was below the acceptable range (AUC: 0.640; p  = 0.108) with 54.17% sensitivity and 68.18% specificity at a cut-off value of 8.83 pg/ml) (Fig.  3 ; Table  4 ).

figure 3

Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) for serum IL-2 ( a ) and IL-10 levels ( b )

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case-control study to investigate the potential association between the pathophysiology of GAD and the pro-inflammatory cytokine, IL-2, and the anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10, among the Bangladeshi population. We observed that IL-10 serum levels were significantly lower in GAD patients than in HCs, and this reduction was found to be significantly but negatively associated with both DSM-5 scores and GAD-7 scores, demonstrating potential involvement of this anti-inflammatory cytokine in disease severity and symptoms. Our results of a significant reduction in IL-10 levels in GAD patients are in good agreement with those observed in other studies [ 23 , 25 ]. In contrast, our results diverge from those reported by others [ 33 , 54 ] who either reported no significant variation in IL-10 levels between GAD patients and HCs or that IL-10 levels were enhanced in GAD patients compared to HCs. ROC analysis also demonstrated the good predictive value of IL-10 serum measurement in discriminating diseased patients from HCs, suggesting that IL-10 serum level might be a potential biomarker for diagnosis, anti-anxiety drug response monitoring, or disease progression monitoring. Recently, Hou et al. (2019) demonstrated that peripheral serum levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 could be used to monitor the treatment response of SSRIs in GAD [ 14 ]. Similarly, IL-10 might be used as a marker for therapeutic drug monitoring in GAD. However, further longitudinal studies are required to find any causal relationship between IL-10 and disease severity or pathogenesis. On the other hand, serum IL-2 levels were significantly elevated in GAD patients compared to HCs, but they failed to demonstrate any significant association with either DSM-5 scores or GAD-7 scores in Pearson correlation analysis, implying that IL-2 levels might not be associated with the pathophysiology and development of GAD. Consistent with this, ROC analysis showed that IL-2 levels have no significant diagnostic efficacy in differentiating GAD patients from HCs. Further analysis with a larger population size is required to explore the role of IL-2 in the context of GAD severity. Our results are consistent with those reported by Tang et al. (2018), who also observed that GAD patients exhibited significantly higher serum levels of IL-2 compared to HCs [ 19 ]. However, our results are not in agreement with those reported by others who observed either no significant variation in IL-2 levels [ 54 ] or a significant reduction in GAD patients compared to HCs [ 25 , 33 , 34 , 55 ]. We also observed a significant positive correlation between IL-2 and IL-10 levels in GAD patients, which indicates a compensatory mechanism [ 56 ].

Our study provides some valuable insights into the complex and intricate relationship between the dysregulated immune system and GAD. The observed reduction in IL-10 levels in GAD patients in our study suggests a potential immunoregulatory imbalance in GAD, with IL-10 playing a role in modulating anxiety severity. The lack of a significant association between IL-2 serum levels and anxiety severity highlights the nuanced nature of immune dysregulation in GAD, warranting further exploration into the specific mechanisms involved. Elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine, IL-2, and decreased levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-10, in GAD patients compared to HCs indicate that GAD individuals of the Bangladeshi cohort are characterized by heightened inflammatory responses derived from the imbalance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory states. Our study finding provides further support for the cytokine hypothesis of anxiety disorder, which proposes that pro-inflammatory cytokine-mediated neuroinflammatory processes can lead to anxiety symptoms or behaviors by downregulating serotonin biosynthesis or enhancing the reuptake of serotonin, resulting in an altered serotonergic neurotransmitter system in the CNS [ 15 ]. The observed significant negative correlation between IL-10 and DSM-5 scores or GAD-7 scores suggests that lowering IL-10 levels might be involved in the pathogenesis of GAD. One of the major implications of our study findings is that IL-10 signaling might be targeted to explore potential novel immunological/immunomodulatory therapies against GAD. The diminished IL-10 levels and their negative correlation with GAD severity suggest a potential avenue for therapeutic intervention. IL-10 might also be used as an anti-inflammatory adjunctive therapy with other pharmacotherapies including SSRIs/SNRIs. However, at this moment, we don’t know the exact mechanism by which lowered levels of IL-10 are linked to higher anxiety severity in GAD patients.

As IL-10 has anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory activities such as suppression of production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α) from microglia and astrocytes, reduction in IL-10 levels in GAD patients in our study led to an imbalance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory states and resulted in enhanced pro-inflammatory responses, which might be the cause of enhanced anxiety symptoms as inflammatory cytokine-mediated neuroinflammation was reported to be linked with disrupted monoaminergic neurotransmission in the brain. Besides, elevated levels of IL-10 were shown to attenuate anxiety-like behaviors by modulating GABAergic neurotransmission in the amygdala (Patel et al., 2021). IL-10 was also reported to display some neuroprotective activities and has been shown to inhibit neuronal apoptosis and promote neurite outgrowth, axonal outgrowth, and synapse formation in the brain by the JAK1-STAT3 signaling pathway [ 57 ]. In a preclinical study, IL-4 has been shown to cause the shifting of microglia and macrophages from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory neuroprotective phenotypes characterized by excessive production of arginase-1 and PPARγ receptor expression in microglia and macrophage and thereby attenuating brain-injury-mediated anxiety by inhibiting neuronal loss and nerve tracts in the limbic system [ 58 ]. A similar mechanism might be involved in IL-10-mediated anxiety symptom improvement in GAD patients. Further research is required to unravel the exact mechanisms of IL-10-mediated anxiety symptom attenuation in GAD patients.

In terms of diagnostic marker development, as IL-10 serum level measurement demonstrated good performance in discriminating GAD patients from HCs and as IL-10 levels maintained a significant and negative correlation with disease severity, IL-10 serum level raised the possibility of being an objective biomarker for GAD. However, the diagnostic efficacy of this cytokine should be investigated thoroughly using a range of longitudinal studies. Despite this, at this time we can conclude that IL-10 might be used as a risk indicator for assessment of susceptibility to anxiety disorder, resulting in early detection of the disease and prompting the initiation of intervention strategies. This early detection will reduce treatment costs and decrease the prevalence and morbidity associated with this chronic disorder.

The strength of our study is that we designed a set of inclusion and exclusion criteria for the recruitment of participants and followed those criteria in such a way that homogenous population data could be obtained. The strict study design helped us enormously to minimize the potential impact of several confounding variables, including age, sex, BMI, co-morbid diseases, and immunomodulatory drugs, on cytokine levels. However, our study also has some limitations that should be acknowledged. The major limitation of this study is the smaller sample size. We recruited 50 patients and 38 HCs, which does not represent the whole Bangladeshi demographic. It would be better if we could enroll an equal number of cases and controls. For example, we observed that cytokine levels maintained a statistically significant difference between male GAD patients and male HCs. In contrast, no significant variation in cytokine levels was observed when female data were considered. As we have included more male participants (60%) than female participants (40%), the lower sample size of female participants might generate a higher background noise, resulting in lower statistical power, warranting further studies recruiting a larger population size to investigate sex-specific differences in cytokine levels in GAD patients. Our case-control study design is inherently correlational and thus not able to evaluate the causal relationship between altered cytokine levels and GAD. So, at this moment, we cannot conclude whether the altered levels of serum cytokines are the causes of anxiety development or just the outcome of pathophysiological changes.

Longitudinal studies are required to investigate whether altered cytokine levels precede GAD or if it’s just a mere reflection of GAD pathology. Though we have restricted the impacts of several co-variates, other confounding variables, including genetic polymorphism in cytokine genes, the effect of lifestyle or xenobiotics, and dietary habits, were not considered, which might have modulatory effects on serum cytokine levels.

The study provides valuable insights for understanding the pathogenesis of GAD. Despite having elevated IL-2 levels in GAD patients compared to HCs, it failed to demonstrate a significant association with anxiety severity as assessed by GAD-7 scores. In contrast, serum IL-10 levels were significantly reduced in GAD patients compared to HCs and showed a significant negative correlation with anxiety severity, implicating a potential link with the GAD pathophysiology. Our results support the immune hypothesis of GAD development. Our study findings also suggest that IL-10 serum level measurement might offer an objective blood-based biomarker or risk assessment indicator for GAD. We recommend further research employing a larger population size and homogenous data from different areas of Bangladesh to confirm our study findings.

Data availability

All the relevant data and information will be available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


Body mass index

Chronic energy deficiency

Confidence interval

Central nervous system

Diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders, 5th edition

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

  • Generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder 7-item scores

Healthy control

  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-10

Receiver operating characteristic

Standard error mean

Statistical package for social science

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The authors are thankful to all the participants of this study. They are also thankful to the staff and physicians at the Department of Psychiatry, BSMMU, for their technical and administrative support. The authors are also thankful for the laboratory support provided by the Department of Pharmacy, University of Asia Pacific, Dhaka Bangladesh.

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency. However, we received partial funding from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (Centennial Research grant (2nd Phase) for the year of 2020–2021, project title: “Investigation of peripheral pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines and immune balance in Bangladeshi patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder”).

Author information

Nisat Sarmin, A. S. M. Roknuzzaman and Rapty Sarker contributed equally to this work.

Authors and Affiliations

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, 1000, Bangladesh

Nisat Sarmin, Rapty Sarker, Mamun -or-Rashid & Zobaer Al Mahmud

Department of Pharmacy, University of Asia Pacific, Dhaka, 1205, Bangladesh

A. S. M. Roknuzzaman

Department of Psychiatry, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Shahabagh, Dhaka, 1000, Bangladesh

MMA Shalahuddin Qusar

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, 1000, Bangladesh

Sitesh Chandra Bachar

School of Pharmacy, BRAC University, Kha 224 Bir Uttam Rafiqul Islam Avenue, Merul Badda, Dhaka, 1212, Bangladesh

Eva Rahman Kabir & Md. Rabiul Islam

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NS, ASMR, RS, MRI, and ZAM: Conceptualization, Data curation, Investigation, Writing – original draft. MR, MMASQ, SCB, and ZAM: Funding acquisition, Project administration, Validation. ERK, MRI, and ZAM: Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Methodology, Supervision, Writing – review & editing.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Md. Rabiul Islam or Zobaer Al Mahmud .

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate.

The research protocol was approved by the Research Ethics Committee (REC) of the University of Asia Pacific, Dhaka, Bangladesh (Ref: UAP/REC/2023/202-S). We briefed the objectives of the study to the participants, and informed consent was obtained from each of them. We conducted this investigation following the Helsinki Declaration’s guiding principles.

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Not applicable.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Sarmin, N., Roknuzzaman, A.S.M., Sarker, R. et al. Association of interleukin-2 and interleukin-10 with the pathophysiology and development of generalized anxiety disorder: a case-control study. BMC Psychiatry 24 , 462 (2024).

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Received : 31 December 2023

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